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 Michael describe Donald's knock?

2. What does Susan fear about meeting Michael Henchard?

3. What is Henchard's impression of the new machinery?

4. What does Lucetta request from Henchard?

5. In chapter 19, what act blatantly shows Michael's disrespect for Susan's request?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. Lucetta shows she is capable of greedy motivations. Yet, she is also victim to Henchard's forceful behaviors. When she returns from Port-Bredy married to Farfrae, Henchard hollers his disapproval and for her to get away. When she does, she enters her home through the backdoor? Knowing what the back alley represents, why does she choose at this time to use this entrance?

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

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Susan learns Henchard is the mayor, she is afraid to meet him, due to his success. Susan partially expects him to be in the stocks or in debtor's prison, so why does she search for him? Since he is well-off, why the fear? Is this expected from her? What does Susan want from Michael Henchard?

Essay Topic 2

Susan lives for eighteen years with Newson without much trouble. However, once she finds out that her marriage is not binding, she is distressed. What does this say about how Susan views marriage? Why does the legality of the marriage have such an effect on her? Why does she stay? Is marriage about love? An obedience? A law?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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