International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 257

Full Length Research Paper

Thomas Hardy’s way of introducing Michael Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge: The Life and Death of a Man of Character

Pallavi Gupta
No. 170, Block- D, Shastri Nagar, Ghaziabad- 201002, India.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 09 May 2013
  •  Published: 31 August 2013


In the novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Hardy presents Michael Henchard as ‘a man of character’ while throughout the novel Henchard commits a number of blunders. Hardy puts two characters in front of us– Michael Henchard and Donald Farfrae. By using this technique of showing the actions of his characters, Hardy proves that even an uneducated man may be a man of character. He draws a line between ‘education and qualification’, and instead of introducing his main character by his name, he gives a detailed description of Michael Henchard’s personality to show that it is the personality of Henchard that matters more than the name he has. Hardy tries to prove that a lot of the bad stuff that happens to Henchard is a result of his natural personality, which he really cannot change. That is a convincing way of Hardy to introduce the main character of his novel. Moreover, it goes along with the novel’s title because the novel is not named Michael Henchard but The Mayor of Casterbridge: The Life and Death of a Man of Character. Throughout the novel Hardy tries to have a balance in Henchard’s character because Henchard is something between ‘a Man’ and ‘a Mayor’.

Key words: Blunders, technique, personality, name, balance, man.