Paper on The Mayor Of Casterbridge

This essay has a total of 654 words and 4 pages.

The Mayor Of Casterbridge

"The Mayor of Casterbridge"

In The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, a person's future lies in the hands of his
or her past actions. The intelligent or ignorant decision that they make places an
immediate or long-term effect on the rest of person's life. Michael Henchard, whose
interactions with the people of Casterbridge lead to his demise, is only one of the people
who decide their own destiny through their actions. The decisions that the residents of
Casterbridge make affect the rest of their lives. The good and evil characteristics which
society possesses determine their fate.

The good qualities which a human holds leads to their future happiness. Initially, a
person who understands their natural area results in a happy lifestyle for them. Farfrae,
"determined to take him(Henchard) at his word," (105) illustrates his understanding
attitude by showing no signs of anger or bitterness when Henchard fires him, and
eventually Farfrae lives happily ever after with Elizabeth-Jane. Refusing to hold a grudge
with Henchard for lying to him, Newson exhibits his worthy personality which gives Newson
a prosperous life as the recognized father of Elizabeth-Jane. Appropriately, honesty
provides for a life of pleasure. When Newson admits his plan of letting everyone think
that he was lost at sea, it shows he is honest allowing him to live a successful life,.
After Farfrae's dismissal, Farfrae remains loyal to Henchard in that he promises not to
detract from Henchard's business which is inevitable; however, because of Farfrae's
sincerity, Farfrae leads a successful life. Farfrae's superior reasoning skills and wit in
his grain business and in his life deliver a most luxurious future. A person's intellect
basically results in an enjoyable life and future. Newson makes up a plan that if Susan
"thinks me dead she'll go back to him, and the child will have a home" (285), this shows
his love for Elizabeth-Jane and in turn guarantee him a good life. Yet as the positive
qualities of humans determine people's destiny, the negative attributes of people decide
their own fate.

As the good brings success, the evil characteristics of mankind insure a life of
unhappiness and suffering. People's natural desire to seek revenge causes their own
demise. Jopp's obsession to force Farfrae out of business was so strong that Jopp "was as
unsafe a colleague as Henchard could have chosen" (179). Henchard's own anger toward
Farfrae for stealing Lucetta and initially causing Henchard to lose his business leads to
Henchard challenging Farfrae in a fight to ones death. Henchard defeats Farfrae, but
spares his life. Without doubt, irresponsibility causes painful situations that people
must deal with, Henchard's negligence to keep a close eye on his business results in the
bankruptcy of the business. This unruly and negative behavior by Henchard and Jopp lead to
both Jopp's unemployment and Henchard loss of everything in his life that was important to
him. Undeniably, the deceitfulness of humans' result in serious consequences, Susan's
lying to Henchard in the letter about Elizabeth-Jane not truly being Henchard's daughter
leads to her own death. Also Lucetta's incompetence of writing the letters to Henchard
instead of confronting him about her decision to marry fanfare leads to the skimmity-ride.
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