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. What event occurs in Port-Bredy?

2. In chapter 24, what makes Elizabeth upset?

3. How does Michael discover Lucetta is in Casterbridge?

4. Where is the first place Michael heads to when he wakes up in the morning in the furmity tent?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Before Michael discovers who Elizabeth's real father is, he wants her to legally change her name to Henchard. For whom does he want this? How does Michael regard Elizabeth's feelings in this matter? Is it for them as a relationship as purely for his selfish wants?

3. 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?

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. 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?

6. 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?

7. Elizabeth mentions "respectability" several times. Despite a plain dress and a modest upbringing, she is very conscientious of being respectable. How does this regard to respectability portray her desires? What kind of life does Elizabeth seek?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. When Susan begins her search for Michael, Hardy refers her as Mrs. Newson, for that is what she calls herself. However, in chapter nine, Hardy calls her Mrs. Henchard again for the first time. Why does Hardy return to her first marriage name? How does Susan feel about her role and position at this point?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Henchard is different than Donald, yet Donald's life seems to follow the same pattern as Henchard. Compare and contrast their lives and how the results may or may not end the same.

Essay Topic 3

Up to chapter 16, Hardy portrays Michael as tyrannical, fiery, and impulsive. However, when the tide turns on Henchard and the people no longer admire him with Donald in town, Hardy shows some of the good side of Henchard. Henchard plans a free celebration, and when it rains on him, he is noted to give the food to the poor and not to waste. Henchard is also noted to help out Abel's mother, despite punishing him later for his lateness. Write about why Hardy displays this side of Henchard. Is it to gain pity for Michael? Is he trying to evoke emotions from the readers toward Henchard? What kind of character does Hardy want to exhibit in Henchard? Is Michael a stereotypical antagonist? Or is there more complexity and depth?

(see the answer keys)

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