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. How does Henchard's demeanor toward Elizabeth change when he hears Susan is alive?

2. How do you describe Henchard's disposition towards strangers?

3. Where do Susan and Elizabeth Jane go for lodgings?

4. How does Michael discover Lucetta is in Casterbridge?

5. What makes Elizabeth believe Donald is not interested in wooing her?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Michael Henchard feel when Susan leaves with the sailor?

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. Elizabeth Jane is very observant of Farfrae and Henchard. What does she notice about their relationship? What are some expectations that come true? Why does the dismissal of Farfrae not so unexpected?

4. Donald Farfrae is a stranger in Casterbridge, yet he decides to help Henchard. This is not a common act between strangers as seen by Henchard's surprise. What does this say about Farfrae's character? Does he really want something or is he really acting as a good Samaritan?

5. When Henchard first learns about Donald's popularity, he cannot help but be jealous. However, he sees Donald as a genuinely good man who cares for people's feelings. What internal battle does Henchard experience concerning Donald Farfrae? How does he personally feel about Farfrae? How does this affect his natural jealousy?

6. 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?

7. Hardy introduces Lucetta as a mystery woman, but with some hints that she knows Henchard. He also describes her as graceful and nice to Elizabeth. However, as the novel progresses, how does Hardy foreshadow that Miss Templeman may not be the woman Elizabeth thinks she is? What clues and observations does Elizabeth make, or comments of Hardy, show that Lucetta is as contriving as the other characters in Casterbridge?

8. When the new farming machinery is shown in the marketplace, Lucetta and Elizabeth look at it with inquiry. Lucetta describes it as an agricultural piano and Elizabeth states that it is something to do with corn. These statements are very different, as is there personality. Compare and contrast their response to the machine and how it reflects their personality.

9. Henchard is quite fond of Farfrae's work. However, Farfrae views himself quite different from Henchard. What does Farfrae think of Henchard as a person? A businessman?

10. Elizabeth mentions "respectability" several times. Despite a plain dress and a modest upbringing, she is very conscientious of being respectable. How does this regard to respectability portray her desires? What kind of life does Elizabeth seek?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel is full of deceit, lies, and pure selfishness. In chapter 24, Elizabeth talks of shadows that Lucetta does not even know about. However, Lucetta, as well as several others in the novel, have shadows of their own. Choose a character and describe their "shadow" that follows them wherever they go. Who is the character? What is the "shadow?" What part does the person have in creating that shadow? Can the character ever rid of it or is really like that of a real shadow, so that wherever there is light, the shadow shows?

Essay Topic 2

Susan lives for eighteen years with Newson without much trouble. However, once she finds out that her marriage is not binding, she is distressed. What does this say about how Susan views marriage? Why does the legality of the marriage have such an effect on her? Why does she stay? Is marriage about love? An obedience? A law?

Essay Topic 3

Henchard is different than Donald, yet Donald's life seems to follow the same pattern as Henchard. Compare and contrast their lives and how the results may or may not end the same.

(see the answer keys)

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