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

2. What causes Michael to be bitter towards Elizabeth?

3. In chapter 24, what makes Elizabeth upset?

4. Where does Susan and her daughter first see Michael Henchard?

5. What is Michael's reaction to what the defendant says?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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?

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

6. 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?

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

8. 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?

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

10. 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?

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

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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