Analysis of "The Mayor of Casterbridge" by Thomas Hardy
Speaking on Thomas Hardy’s novel “The Mayor of Casterbridge”, it is important to mention the history of the novel, because, according to Richard Little Purdy in his bibliographical study of Hardy's writings, the last page of the novel was actually written on 17 April, 1885. (1), the volume edition was published in 1886, but, actually, this volume edition following serial publication, what was finished in “The Graphic” on May 15, 1886. Later, “Sampson Low, Marston Searle and Rivington” published the second volume edition in 1887, but the last version was issued on 1912. The text of the novel has experienced important changes in plot and, to some extent, also in characters since the serial version, so in this work the last version to which the author has made changes – that of 1912 - will be analysed.
Thomas Hardy has attributed “The Mayor of Casterbridge” to the ‘Novels of Character and Environment’ (2:357). The author has chosen for the subtitle of the novel “A Story of a Man of Character”; it is easier to understand why, when we see Hardy quoting Novalis: "Character is fate". To understand the meaning of this subtitle better, we need to consider the theme of the novel, which, therefore, should be related to the main protagonist – Michael Henchard – as a uniting element of the plot. …
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