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 Elizabeth notice about the backdoor of Miss Templeman's home?

2. What is one of Henchard's motives for his remarriage with Susan?

3. What is the main cause of Henchard's celebration failure?

4. What surprising feature does Elizabeth and Susan notice about the glasses in front of the mayor?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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.

6. 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?

7. Henchard is a man of wealth and status in Casterbridge, yet he is lonely in friendship as well as marriage. As soon as he meets Farfrae, he is intrigued. Not only does he look to Farfrae as a business manager, but also as a friend. What benefits and dangers does Henchard risk in befriending Farfrae so early on with such sensitive confessions?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In chapter 25, Michael tells Lucetta, "But it is not by what it is, in this life, but by what appears, that you are judged..." It is evident that Michael lives with a lot of deceit and follows his own advice. Do you agree? Do you disagree? How is his life judged? Do you think the truth ever catches up to the facade?

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

In chapter 11, Hardy describes The Ring and the Roman past in Casterbridge's history. Hardy details the heavy blood and destructive affairs and that it is no place where happy lovers meet. Hardy also describes the head of Apollo and Diana in Henchard's house. Find the relationship between the historical description of Casterbridge and Henchard's life. Where is Henchard in his life? Is he in his glory days as the times of old gladiators are in The Ring, or is he now a piece of history as an empty stadium that stands alone.

(see the answer keys)

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