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Mayor of Casterbridge Novel analysis: Characterisation

mayor of casterbridge novel

Objectives: By the end of this subtopic, learners should be able to:
-Define characterization.
-Describe characters using adjectives.
-Assess character development.
-Analyse characters in a text


1.Michael Henchard


This is evident in the silence between him and his wife Susan when
they were walking together.
There is so much tension and only a few words from Susan to
Elizabeth Jane.
What was really peculiar, however, in this couple’s progress, and
would have attracted the attention of any casual observer otherwise
disposed to overlook them, was the perfect silence they preserved.
(Page 1).


During his drunken episode in Weydon-Priors, he ends up auctioning
his wife and daughter to a sailor; Mr. Newson.
Also in his bid to outdo Mr. Farfrae he ends up stocking up corn
without considering how the harvests would be that year and that
results in loses and his bankruptcy.


He ill-treats Abel Whittle and makes him go to work without his
pants, Out of bed, sir, and off to the granary, or you leave my
employ today! tis to teach ye a lesson. March on; never mind your
breeches! (Page 76).
After reading Susan’s letter he keeps the truth about Elizabeth
Jane’s paternity to himself because he does not want to lose her.
He does not consider that maybe Elizabeth Jane might want to know
the truth.


The day after he sells his wife and child he feels so bad about it,
he looks for them and when he realizes that they are gone he vows to
never drink alcohol for twenty one years and he sticks to that oath.
I, Michael Henchard, on this morning of the sixteenth of September,
do take an oath before God here in this solemn place that I will
avoid all strong liquors for the space of twenty one years to come
(Page 13).
When he finally gets reunited with Susan he offers to marry her
again to make up for what he had done.
After he realizes that Elizabeth Jane is about to discover the truth
he leaves Casterbridge but only to come back and try to make amends
with her at her wedding.


When Farfrae starts getting successful he gets so jealous that he
throws a party at the same time as Farfrae and he gets agitated when
his party becomes a flop.
He tries to blackmail Lucetta into marrying him because he does not
want her to marry Donald.
He does not seem happy about Elizabeth Jan’s relationship with

2. Susan Henchard Newson


When she is sold by Henchard in a drunken stupor, she knows that he
does not mean it but she goes anyway.
This goes on to show that she did as a way of avenging her honor in
her fit of rage.


When she comes to Casterbridge to find Henchard, she lets him
believe that Elizabeth Jane is his child.
She keeps this secret to herself and also makes Elizabeth believe
that as well.
When she is about to die she writes a letter with the confession to
be read on Elizabeth’s wedding.

By: T.Titus Nyakudyara
Twitter: @NyakudyaraTitus.

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