The Mayor of Casterbridge Essay

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Norvell is an independent educational writer who specializes in English and literature. She holds degrees in linguistics and journalism. In this essay, Norvell discusses two techniques that Hardy uses in his novel to make his main character both realistic and symbolic.

Critics through the decades have agreed that Michael Henchard is one of the towering figures of literature. Henchard is powerful because he is both an individual and an icon. He seems to readers to be a real person—a person who evokes sympathy and compassion because he has the same kinds of weaknesses that readers themselves have and experiences the same kinds of loneliness, guilt, fear, and defeat. At the same time, Henchard seems larger than life—like a symbol, rather than a mere example, of humanity.

Hardy uses many techniques to give Henchard these dual aspects. This essay explores two of these techniques: Hardy's...

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This section contains 968 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Mayor of Casterbridge Study Guide
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