The Mayor of Casterbridge Test | Final 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 Henchard show that he now thinks of Elizabeth above himself?

2. What brings Michael over the edge and gets him to start drinking again?

3. What does Lucetta believe is her only "practicable weapon"?

4. How do Henchard's former employees view their new boss?

5. What is the people's reaction to the skiff between Michael and Donald?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the public treating Henchard and Donald after the Royal Personage passes through town? How is this different from earlier times? What does this say about the public?

2. Of all the places that Lucetta chooses to meet Michael, why at the Ring? Hardy sets it there in the novel, but Lucetta is unaware that Susan and Michael meet there before. What is the importance of the Ring in this chapter?

3. When Michael pins Donald and is in a position to throw him down the trap door, Donald yells, "... take it, take it! Ye've wished to long enough!" What effect do these words have on Michael? If Donald does not said them, what happens?

4. Henchard reads Lucetta's letters aloud to Farfrae. Although the author is unknown to Farfrae, what do the letters say about the woman who writes them?

5. Although Farfrae buys Henchard's house and furniture in good faith, and offers him a room and job to help him. Describe what it feels like for Michael.

6. Describe the relationship between the classes. How are they related to one another? Does one depend on the other? Are they co-dependent? Do they interact with one another? If so, how? What is different between the two classes? Can one move between the classes? How so? Who is an example?

7. What is the significance of Psalm 109? Why does the band refuse to play such a song? What is the irony in the lyrics?

8. When Henchard arrives at Farfrae's home, he has every intention to read Lucetta's letters to Donald and reveal the author. However, he does not. He reads the letters, but stops himself from telling anymore. Why doesn't Henchard go through with his plan?

9. After Henchard's bankruptcy, Henchard becomes an associate of the lower class. He now works beside them, dresses in shabby clothing, and lives in the same vicinity. But how is Henchard different from the lower class? What large difference do he and Jopp have despite their similar circumstances?

10. In Lucetta's illness and death, how does Lucetta manage to manipulate the people around her? How does her reaction to the effigy, intentional or not, play her "practicable weapon"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Whittle is a small character throughout the novel, but is the last person to see Henchard before he dies. Describe Whittle's will to help Henchard and what it means in the novel to have a minor character help Henchard in his loneliest time.

(see the answer keys)

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