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. Who does Henchard hire to compete against Farfrae?

2. How does Michael feel after Susan's death?

3. How does Elizabeth and Lucetta meet?

4. How do Susan and Elizabeth pay for their lodgings, despite their little income?

5. How does Henchard first learn the townspeople prefer Donald over him?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Abel Whittle is chronically late and with many warnings, he continues to be late. Fed up, Henchard heads to Abel's house and makes him get to the granary without breeches on. Farfrae argues that the joke goes too far and Abel should get him and dress. Henchard contends that it is to teach Abel a lesson and that this is no joke. When Henchard sells Susan to Newson, it too starts off as a joke. Henchard and all present blames the rum. Compare the two situations and Henchard's character. How much of the rum is to blame for the joke getting out of hand? If Farfrae is not there to stop the punishment, does Henchard continue on with the lesson?

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

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. How does Solomon Longways view the mayor?

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

7. 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?

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

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 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Whittle is a small character throughout the novel, but is the last person to see Henchard before he dies. Describe Whittle's will to help Henchard and what it means in the novel to have a minor character help Henchard in his loneliest time.

Essay Topic 3

Hardy refers to "man as the blot on an otherwise kindly universe," but continues to note that there are times men are peaceful while the beasts in animals come out. According to Hardy, what is the nature of man? How does Michael Henchard represent man?

(see the answer keys)

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