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

2. What does Lucetta do when Michael finally calls for her?

3. What is the relationship like between Susan and Michael?

4. What does Farfrae do at the hiring market?

5. What are Farfrae's plans when he arrives in Casterbridge?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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.

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

4. 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?

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

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. 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?

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

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel is full of deceit, lies, and pure selfishness. In chapter 24, Elizabeth talks of shadows that Lucetta does not even know about. However, Lucetta, as well as several others in the novel, have shadows of their own. Choose a character and describe their "shadow" that follows them wherever they go. Who is the character? What is the "shadow?" What part does the person have in creating that shadow? Can the character ever rid of it or is really like that of a real shadow, so that wherever there is light, the shadow shows?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Describe Michael's progression from a bull to a goldfinch. How does Michael resemble a raging bull? A caged goldfinch? What creates this progression? Why does Hardy use these animals in particular?

(see the answer keys)

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