The Mayor Of Casterbridge’s Setting By Thomas Hardy 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 be very stern with others.
It is the self punishment, however, that most affects his fate. When he sobered up after selling Susan, he knew what he had done, was wrong. That is why he took that oath with the curse at the end of it, . He also wanders the country side in search of the family he has destroyed. If he had not of taken that oath, he probably would still be a lowly hay trusser. At the end of the story, when Henchard dies, he dies under the care of Abel Whittle.
Even in death he could not escape himself, He punishes himself after death by what he asks for in his will. In his will he asks that: his daughter not be told of his passing; he not be buried in consecrated ground; no one be asked to toll the bell; nobody see his dead body; there be no mourners at his funeral; no flowers be planted at his grave; and that no one remember him. He thought he had a lot of sins to pay for when he asked all this. Hardy has taken common character traits and used them to determine the character’s fate. Through the use of his characters, Hardy shows how someone can determine their own fate. Even though in most cases they don’t know it. English Essays.