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. In chapter 24, what makes Elizabeth upset?

2. What does Farfrae do that wins the inn patrons over?

3. How are Susan and Elizabeth-Jane evident strangers in Casterbridge?

4. What stages does Michael go through when drunk?

5. At the scene of the wagon crash, when Henchard's man says the word of Lucetta and Elizabeth Jane are not to be accounted for because all women swoon for Donald, Henchard __________.

Short Essay Questions

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

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. 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?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. 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?

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

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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