The Mayor of Casterbridge Thomas Hardy; Melisa Wongsa

Main Characters

Michael Henchard

Michael Henchard is the main character of the novel. When the novel begins, Henchard is a drunkard who sells both his wife and his daughter for only 5 guineas to a sailor. He then vows to never drink again for 20 years, and becomes the mayor of Casterbridge.

Elizabeth-Jane Newson

Elizabeth-Jane is the daughter of Susan and Newson. She has the same name as the child Susan and Henchard had, who died shortly after he sold them. Throughout the novel, Elizabeth-Jane goes through many hardships and manages to be composed.

Donald Farfrae

Donald Farfrae is a Scotchman who arrived to Casterbridge around the same time as Susan and her daughter. In the novel, he would be considered Henchard's rival because of his superb business skills and his overall personality, making him popular throughout the town.


This novel takes place in Casterbridge, a small town in Wessex, England. Wessex is a fictional placed loosely based off of Hardy's hometown, Dorset.

Brief Summary
In the beginning of the novel, Michael Henchard is a man who sold his family while he was drunk. When he awakes the next night, he regrets what he did and vows to never drink again for 20 years. Eighteen years later, Susan and Elizabeth-Jane return back to track Henchard because Newson passed away out at sea. When Henchards learns they are back, he tries to reconnect with his family. Thoughout the book, the family faces hardships and secrets get found out. In the end, Newson shows up alive and Henchard dies alone.
Turning Point

The turning point in the book is when Michael Henchard and Donald Farfrae are competing and Farfrae takes all the people's interests. This is when Henchard is jealous of what Farfrae has accomplished in such little time. Henchard starts to feel isolated and lonely.


In the end, Elizabeth-Jane finds out that Henchard isn't her real father and that Newson, her real father, is alive and well. Henchard then becomes lonely with no one to live with. Elizabeth-Jane feels bad for her stepfather and tries to search for him, only to find out he died.

Student Recommendation

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who likes a story with a bunch of plot twists. This book is exciting and crazy events happen throughout the book. Once you start reading, you'll never want to put the book down!


Created with images by Peter Glyn - "Max Gate" • sagesolar - "Dirt Road, Ettersburg, California" • Skitterphoto - "windmill rural twilight" • valtercirillo - "orvieto medieval town umbria" • Namibnat - "Fairy Circles" • M^3 - "grassy plains" • Olin Gilbert - "Reflections"

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