The Mayor of Casterbridge - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 1 Summary

As the story begins, the reader is introduced to Michael and Susan Henchard who, along with their baby, are traveling to Upper Wessex. The couple is described as poor but not destitute, and Hardy notes that Michael walks like a country dweller rather than a city laborer. Michael is a hay trusser (a person who packs and loads bails of hay) who hopes to find work in Weydon Priors. As they travel, they meet a farmer (a "turnip hoer") who tells Michael there are no jobs available for a hay trusser.

Michael and Susan learn that there is a fair in Weydon Priors so they stop to enjoy it. They go to the refreshment tent, where Michael begins drinking punch laced with rum (served by the "furmity" woman). After a few drinks and some prodding by Susan to leave and find a place...

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This section contains 522 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Mayor of Casterbridge Study Guide
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The Mayor of Casterbridge from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.