The Mayor of Casterbridge: Characters
Abel is a minor character and is one of Henchard’s employees. Despite Henchard treating him harshly, Abel is with Henchard in his last days as he remembers Henchard’s generosity to his mother.
Farfrae comes to Casterbridge on his way to Bristol in order to travel to the New World. He is persuaded by Michael Henchard to stay on as his corn-factor manager, but ironically and eventually becomes Henchard’s rival in business and love.
Elizabeth-Jane is the daughter of Susan Henchard and presumed daughter of Henchard. She is characterized by her innocence and preference for moral rectitude.
Jopp is a minor character, yet is important to the plot in a number of ways. He is initially let down by Henchard when he applies for the corn-factor manager position and is then told by the latter that it has been taken by Farfrae. Later, when Henchard loses his wealth and social position, Henchard becomes his lodger. It is also through Jopp that the town gets to know of Lucetta’s earlier indiscretions and he plays apart in the skimmington ride (where humiliating effigies of Lucetta and Henchard are carried through the streets).
She is first referred to in the narrative as a former love interest of Henchard’s. When she arrives in Casterbridge as a wealthy woman, both Henchard and Farfrae are enamoured with her. She is impulsive and emotional and as the novel progresses it is evident that she loves Farfrae.
The narrative traces the rise and fall of this eponymous hero as he is seen to sabotage his own good fortune with impulsive, hate-filled decisions. The drunken action of selling his wife and daughter hovers over the rest of his life, although he continues to act in a similar belligerent fashion as he gets older.
This is the sailor who buys Susan and her daughter for five guineas from Henchard. He is presumed dead when Susan finds her first husband, but returns towards the end of the novel to reclaim his daughter, Elizabeth-Jane.
Susan is depicted as a somewhat naive character who has believed that the sale of herself and her daughter was legally binding until years after the transaction. She is described as simple in her outlook and yet she manages to deceive Henchard for what she sees as the good of her child.
The Mayor of Casterbridge Study GuideChoose to Continue
- The Mayor of Castebridge
- Essay Questions
- Top Ten Quotations
- Chapters 1,2
- Chapters 3,4,5
- Chapters 6,7,8
- Chapters 9,10,11
- Chapters 12,13,14
- Chapters 15,16,17
- Chapters 18,19,20
- Chapters 21,22,23
- Chapters 24,25,26
- Chapters 27,28,29,30,31,32
- Chapters 33,34,35,36,37,38
- Chapters 39,40,41,42,43,44,45