Mayor Of Casterbridge By Hardy

Many believe that a human's personality determines their place in life. In the

Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy explores the role of character in
determining fate. He uses a character's personality flaws to determine their
fate. Hardy utilizes such traits as temper, naivety, control problems, and
shyness. Hardy takes his character and places them in a situation where their
personalities usually make the situation worse. Throughout the novel the
character, Lucetta, is portrayed as a spoiled child. She likes things to be the
best for herself. She comes to Casterbridge in order to finish what she and

Henchard proposed to do earlier, that is, marry one another. When she refuses to
see him, because she likes Farfrae, she is intentionally provoking him. Henchard
confronts her about this matter and he marriage to him. Lucetta refuses to marry
until Henchard threatens to black mail her. He intends to black mail her with
the love letters she wrote him earlier. She agrees to the marriage. Lucetta,
however, marries Farfrae. She does this because he is good looking, better off
than Henchard, and totally infatuated with her. This course was the best for her
at the moment. She knew of Henchard's past, she had experienced his temper, and
was afraid he would ruin her. Lucetta also puts a great deal of emphasis on
looks. Earlier in the story, she had fallen in love with Henchard. After he left

Jersey, Lucetta wrote Henchard love letters. These letters would become her down
fall. She died of shock (or possibly miscarriage) after the skimmity ride. The
only reason the townsfolk knew about her past with Henchard were these love
letters. She had trustingly asked Henchard to deliver them back to her keeping
so that she could destroy them. If she had trusted him enough to return the
letters, why couldn't she trust him to destroy them? Henchard's fate was
strongly rooted in his character. He has several character flaws that
contributed to the break down of every relationship he had. At the beginning of
the novel it is his temper that starts the whole story off. At the fair in

Weydon - Priors, he becomes angry with his wife while he is drunk. Henchard
tries to sell her because he believes that it is Susan's and the child's fault
that he is not successful. This is evidently not the first time. He finds an
interested man who pays five pounds and five shillings for her. This of course
is the beginning of the break down of his family life and his role as a father.

Henchard is upset when he sobers up the next morning. There are other instance
where Henchard's temper destroys his relationships. The next episode in the
story is when Farfrae's idea for the fair works better than his own. In a fit of
jealous rage, Henchard fires his good friend. This alienates Farfrae from both

Henchard and Elizabeth-Jane. It also distances Henchard from Elizabeth-Jane and

Farfrae. His temper has now caused a fault in his business and his family.

Farfrae sets up a business in competition with him. Henchard also denies Farfrae
the right to court his daughter. This of course pushes Elizabeth-Jane farther
from her father. In Henchard's anger and other habits there is an element of
control. That is lack of control. Henchard, it seems, likes his drink. In the
beginning of the story he asks for some liquor to be added to his furmity. Once
drunk, he losses control and becomes angry. This of course leads to the family
break up. In the morning, he swears, While he is sober for those years, he is
very prosperous. Henchard becomes a wealthy corn merchant as well as the Mayor
of Casterbridge. However, when the twenty-one years are over he starts drinking
again. Prior to this because of his temper and the such, he is a ruined man.

When he takes up drinking again it just hastens the downward spiral he is on. He
is an embarrassment to himself and all that know him. This quote is from the
visitation of the Royal Personage. Farfrae had set up a reception for the royal
guest. Henchard's presence at the arrival of the guest was denied by the
council. So, he decided, After this incident Lucetta refused to acknowledge who
he was or that he was ever her husband's patron. Through the lack of control and
anger, Henchard has a vague idea of what is right and wrong. He is very hard on
himself. Henchard can also