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 rash and regretful decision does Henchard make at Donald's celebration?

2. What does Lucetta request from Henchard?

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

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

5. What is Jopp's reaction to Henchard's curt behavior?

Short Essay Questions

1. What changes are seen in the furmity woman when Susan and Elizabeth-Jane returns?

2. 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?

3. At first request, Michael is agreeable to let Elizabeth leave and gain independence. But when the time comes for her to leave, he gets angry and flustered at the idea. Why does Henchard react with such contradiction?

4. When the furmity woman is shown as the defendant, Henchard notices something familiar but the thought flees his mind as quickly as it comes in. How does the furmity woman represent the sale of his wife twenty years ago? How does Henchard's reaction to the furmity woman represent how he feels about the transaction?

5. 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?

6. 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?

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

8. When Henchard writes a note to Susan, he also gives five guineas in return. What does Henchard hope to portray in this gift? How does Susan react to the money when she sees it?

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Henchard and Farfrae both start from close to nothing to being the mayor of Casterbridge. However, they have very different styles. Farfrae is gentle and generally reasonable. Henchard is a fiery man that evokes fear in his employers and some townsfolk. They are the symbols of respect versus fear. Compare and contrast Michael and Donald's way of heading a business. How do they treat their employees? How do the employees view their boss? What benefits are from respecting or fearing your boss? What are the hindrances?

Essay Topic 2

Several times throughout the novel, Hardy describes Henchard's dark eyes with a glint of red. Solomon describes Henchard's expression after his wedding as an ambiguous gaze with one moment of satisfaction, another fiery disdain. How do the colors Hardy uses relate to the description of Henchard's gaze? Why does Henchard have such a gaze as he exits the church?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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