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. Four pennies are used to keep Susan's eyes closed. What becomes of them after Martha buries them?

2. Henchard confesses his past marriage with Susan to Farfrae. What additional surprise does Henchard confess to Farfrae?

3. What occupies Elizabeth's mind after the celebration is over?

4. Where does Donald set up his new business?

5. How does Susan react when Michael admits his guilt for a bad deed he does years before?

Short Essay Questions

1. At the hiring market, Farfrae and Lucetta witness a farmer who is in a dilemma. Either the farmer loses his sweetheart or fails his father. Lucetta shows concern and Farfrae offers to hire the man close in town so the farmer does not have to choose. What is the motivation behind Donald's decision? Does he really have concern for the farmer? Is it to impress Lucetta instead?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. Lucetta shows she is capable of greedy motivations. Yet, she is also victim to Henchard's forceful behaviors. When she returns from Port-Bredy married to Farfrae, Henchard hollers his disapproval and for her to get away. When she does, she enters her home through the backdoor? Knowing what the back alley represents, why does she choose at this time to use this entrance?

6. 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?

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

8. What is the atmosphere of the furmity tent when Michael offers his wife for sale?

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Henchard's motives are self-serving throughout the novel. However, when the furmity woman tells the court of Michael's shameful actions from twenty years ago, he does not deny it. The woman is not respected and no one believes her when she says it, thus Michael easily gets away with it. However, he confesses that what she says is true. What causes Michael to act in this way? What finally brings the truth out of Michael's' lips? Is there a selfish motivation? Is Michael changing? Is he becoming an honest man?

(see the answer keys)

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