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Word Count: 440
Character Makes the Man One of the questions Thomas Hardy poses in his masterwork novel The Mayor of Casterbridge is the relationship between character and chance in destiny Destiny in this novel most closely relates to the idea of destiny put forth in Robert Frosts poem The Road Not Taken where chance defines the paths for a person to take but it is the persons character itself which decides the path he or she takes in the end Through Hardys tale of the rise and fall of Michael Henchard the reader gets a clear example of this all-important idea Hardy wants to convey that character indeed is fate Throughout the readers experience with Michael Henchard one can see the harsh qualities that led to his downfall and the endearing qualities that led to his rise in the first place It was his tenacity his dedication to his sacred oath against liquor that allowed him to move up from a lowly hay-trusser to mayor of the town throughout every social level in such a short time His romantic qualities such as the indescribable bond he feels toward Donald Farfrae play a part in his destiny also giving Farfrae the position to outshine Henchard and take over as his successor His stubbornness prevents him from revealing the truth about Elizabeth-Janes fathers death sets up her disavowal of him at the end of the novel establishing him as a truly unloved and tragic character One cannot deny that luck plays a hand in this game of chance however It was not Henchard that caused Richard Newson to return from the dead but going back to The Road Not Taken luck and chance merely set up the paths to be taken and it is Henchards character who will decide which path to take Henchard may not have caused Richard Newson to return from the grave but it was Henchards overbearing sense of possession of Elizabeth-Jane that caused
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