The Mayor of Casterbridge Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Michael do for a living?

2. How does Susan know Michael Henchard is in Casterbridge?

3. What does Elizabeth notice about the backdoor of Miss Templeman's home?

4. When Elizabeth meets Lucetta on the road, who/what attacks them?

5. Where does Susan and her daughter first see Michael Henchard?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Susan dies, Henchard agrees to marry Lucetta out of pity. He still does not call on her when she arrives to Casterbridge. Suddenly, he is adamant about getting her attention and marrying her. What causes the sudden change of heart? What does Henchard want from this?

2. Although Hardy reveals that Henchard is not in love with Susan, he feels defensive when the boys around town call Susan, "The Ghost". Does he really love her and does not know it? Is he defensive to protect his own name? Is Henchard a better man that he reveals himself to be?

3. Hardy makes note that the Three Mariners sign is old. However, it is not due to the owner's lack of care as it is the lack of a painter in town. What does that imply about Casterbridge?

4. Earlier in the book, Jopp is tersely introduced and forgotten when his management position is taken by Farfrae. Re-introduced years later in chapter 26, he is described as coming from the back slum and his clothing a sign of need. Unjustly fired, what role do you think Jopp plays in Henchard's life?

5. When Henchard visits Lucetta and asks her to marry him, she looks out the window to see Farfrae's hay wagons. What earlier scene is this reminiscent of? What is its importance in the storyline?

6. When Susan begins her search for Michael, Hardy refers her as Mrs. Newson, for that is what she calls herself. However, in chapter nine, Hardy calls her Mrs. Henchard again for the first time. Why does Hardy return to her first marriage name? How does Susan feel about her role and position at this point?

7. How does Solomon Longways view the mayor?

8. Henchard becomes distraught and angry at the idea that Elizabeth is not his daughter. Out of pride, he does not tell her after the big deal he makes for her to change her name. How does Henchard express his feelings if not in telling her the truth?

9. Henchard hears from Lucetta and believes he should marry her. At this point, Susan is on her deathbed. Why does Henchard want to marry Lucetta? Is it another obligation? Does he have feelings for her?

10. When Susan is auctioned to Newson, she thinks it is binding. However, Hardy remarks that she is not the only woman to think this way. What does this say about Susan? About the times?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Although there is resentment towards the upper class from the lower class, there is a sense of forgiveness amongst them. Why are the lower class so much more forgiving to one another? Why do the upper class lack this sense of unity within the class?

Essay Topic 2

Michael Henchard notes, "It never rains, but it pours!" Although he refers to the events in his life; how does this also represent him as a person?

Essay Topic 3

Hardy takes the time to develop the significance of the two bridges over several pages. It is distinct in character between the brick bridge and the stone bridge, in the persons that visit, as well as the bridges themselves. Compare and contrast the two bridges. Discuss the significance of class distinction in Casterbridge and how it relates to the bridges.

(see the answer keys)

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