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. To whom does Michael go for weather advice?

2. What causes Lucetta to change her mind about marrying Henchard?

3. What is Farfrae's reaction to Henchard's confession?

4. How does Michael describe Donald's knock?

5. As magistrate, what familiar character does Michael judge?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. A raging bull attacks Lucetta and Elizabeth. Why does hardy use a bull? What symbolism do bulls represent?

4. 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.

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. 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?

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. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Hardy develops characters with complexity. Some play a larger role, but even the smaller roles are there for a reason. Why does Hardy include talk from the townsfolk? What purpose does it serve to hear the chatting of Solomon, Coney, Mrs. Cuxom in the Three Mariners, at the mayor's wedding, and of Susan's last day at the water pump?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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