Mayor Of Casterbridge Essay, Research Paper

The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Progression of Modernism

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During the first half of the nineteenth century English society was doing the hard passage from a pre-industrial Britain to & # 8216 ; modern & # 8217 ; Victorian times. In agribusiness, most of the passage took topographic point around 1846 with the abrogation of the maize Torahs. This allowed foreign grain to be imported into England for the first clip. Consequently, the full construction and methods of agribusiness in Britain were greatly altered. Much of the action in Thomas Hardy & # 8217 ; s novel The Mayor of Casterbridge takes topographic point during the old ages environing 1846. These were the old ages in which diehards took their last base before being defeated in the name of advancement. The contrasts between Henchard, a adult male trusting on the traditional manner of life and Farfrae, a adult male intrigued by modern thoughts, illustrate the inevitableness that advancement and modernisation will get the better of tradition. The struggle of tradition versus modernisation is shown through Henchard and Farfrae & # 8217 ; s contrasting attacks to concern, their contrasting attitudes toward modernisation and their changing functions in Casterbridge society.

The contrast between Henchard and Farfrae & # 8217 ; s concern attitudes demonstrates the struggle between the traditional and modern attacks to concern. Michael Henchard and Donald Farfrae take really different attacks to clerking and pull offing the employees of Henchard & # 8217 ; s Business. Henchard is a adult male who has an antique attitude toward concern ; he is unable to compose decently and as a consequence his fiscal records are ill kept and unorganized. The bulk of his concern records are kept in his caput. Farfrae, nevertheless, is a immature adult male who approaches concern with a modern attitude. Farfrae keeps the concern history books in perfect order: non wavering to work tardily making it.

A light shone from the office window, and at that place being no blind to test the interior Henchard could see Donald Farfrae still seated where he had left him, originating himself into the managerial work of the house by passing the books. Henchard entered, simply detecting, & # 8216 ; Don & # 8217 ; t allow me disrupt you, if ye will remain so late. & # 8217 ;

He stood behind Farfrae & # 8217 ; s chair, watching his sleight in uncluttering up the numerical fogs which had been allowed to turn so thick in Henchard & # 8217 ; s books as about to perplex even the Scotchman & # 8217 ; s shrewdness. The corn-factor & # 8217 ; s bearing was half admiring, and yet it was non without a elan of commiseration for the gustatory sensation of anyone who could care to give his head to such finnikin inside informations. Henchard himself was mentally and physically unfit for catching nuances from solid paper ; he had in a modern sense received the instruction of Achilles, and found calligraphy a tantalising art. ( p.72, The Mayor of Casterbridge )

The struggles between modern and traditional attacks to concern are demonstrated through the contrasting concern moralss of Henchard and Farfrae. Henchard, being an older adult male, is non every bit skilled at calligraphy or mathematics and as a consequence his clerking accomplishments represent an older and more traditional method of keeping concern histories. Farfrae, being from a younger coevals attacks concern in a more modern manner. He keeps the fiscal records as accurate and as up to day of the month as possible, doing certain to travel through old records and correct any errors that Henchard had made antecedently. Henchard & # 8217 ; s methods of concern represent accomplishments that are no longer in continual usage. Farfrae is an illustration of how the progress of engineering causes the loss of traditional, and valuable accomplishments.

In the same manner, the struggle between traditional and modern attacks to concern is demonstrated through Henchard and Farfrae & # 8217 ; s contrasting positions on how to pull off employees. Henchard, the diehard, takes a austere attack when censuring employees, transfusing regard into his employees through fright. Henchard punishes an employee for his tardiness.

& # 8216 ; I don & # 8217 ; t want to hear it! & # 8217 ; roared Henchard. & # 8216 ; Tomorrow the waggons must get down at four, and if you are non at that place, stand clear. I will mortify thy flesh for thee! & # 8217 ;

& # 8216 ; But allow me unclutter up my points, your worshipful- & # 8217 ;

Henchard turned away.

& # 8216 ; He asked me, and he questioned me, and so & # 8216 ; a wouldn & # 8217 ; t hear my points! & # 8217 ; said Abel, to the pace in general. & # 8216 ; Now, I shall jerk like a moment-hand all dark long to-night for fright O & # 8217 ; him! & # 8217 ; ( p. 94-95 ) .

A traditional signifier of regard for their employers found Henchard & # 8217 ; s employees fearing him as illustrated though Abel Whittle & # 8217 ; s reaction to Henchard & # 8217 ; s rebuke. Farfrae nevertheless, took a more modern attack by transfusing regard in Whittle out of justness. Abel was in the incorrect to kip in. However, Henchard was in the incorrect to coerce the adult male to travel to work without his knee pantss. & # 8221 ; I don & # 8217 ; t care what Mr. Henchard said, nor anybody else! & # 8216 ; Tis simple folly to make this. Travel and dress yourself immediately, Whittle & # 8221 ; [ said Farfrae ] Farfrae resolved the issue expeditiously and with justness which is exemplifying of his modern attitude toward an employee rebuke. The contrasting positions on concern moralss held by Henchard and Farfrae are exemplifying of the contrasts between tradition and modernisation.

Similarly, the contrasting attitudes that Henchard and Farfrae take toward modernisation and new developments help to exemplify the struggle of tradition versus modernism in Casterbridge society. As a consequence of technological advancement, a new machine had been developed and introduced to the town of Casterbridge.

It was the new-fashioned agricultural implement called a Equus caballus drill, till so unknown in its modern form in this portion of the state, where the venerable seed-lip was still used for seeding as in the yearss of the Heptarchy. I

T reaching created about every bit much esthesis in the maize market as a winging machine would make at Charing Cross ( p.163 ) .

Henchard as the antique diehard ridicules the new machine, claiming that & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; & # 8217 ; tis impossible to move! & # 8221 ; ( P. 164 ) while trying to explicate the appliance, & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; and still more forcibly to roast it & # 8221 ; ( p.164 ) Henchard & # 8217 ; s positions are clearly different from those expressed by Farfrae who accurately predicted that the machine would greatly alter agribusiness during the Victorian epoch. & # 8220 ; Stupid? O no! & # 8221 ; said Farfrae soberly. & # 8220 ; It will revolutionise seeding hereabout! No more sowers flinging their seed without broadcast medium, so that some falls by the roadside and some among irritants, and all that. Each grain will travel directly to its intended topographic point and nowhere else whatever! & # 8221 ; ( P.165 ) This struggle of sentiment toward the progress of engineering is representative of the struggle between tradition and the patterned advance on modernism. The Equus caballus drill is a more scientific method of seeding seed ; there is less waste and less manual labour involved. Modernism and the progress of engineering, like the Equus caballus drill, will replace the traditional usage of manual labour for all agricultural activities. Inevitably, a modern and come oning Britain, leting for greater promotions in the hereafter will get the better of the traditional Britain.

Representative of the patterned advance of modernisation over tradition is the function alteration in which the character & # 8217 ; s Michael Henchard and Donald Farfrae undergo. Just as modernisation overcomes tradition, Farfrae overcomes Henchard. This is illustrated through the function changes observed between Farfrae and Henchard sing their stature in Casterbridge society.

Farfrae, stand foring modernism, takes over the maize concern of Henchard, the diehard. Under Henchard & # 8217 ; s counsel, the maize concern ran with trouble. The flour was bad, and as a consequence the town Ate bad staff of life.

& # 8216 ; And how does it go on there is no good staff of life? & # 8217 ; asked Mrs. Henchard.

& # 8216 ; Oh, & # 8216 ; tis the cornfactor-he & # 8217 ; s the adult male that our Millers and bakers all trade wi & # 8217 ; , and he has sold & # 8216 ; em growed wheat, which they didn & # 8217 ; t cognize was growed, so they say, till the dough ran all over the ovens like mercury, so that the loaves be every bit level as frogs, and like suet pudden interior. I & # 8217 ; ve been a married woman, and I & # 8217 ; ve been a female parent, and I ne’er see much unprincipled staff of life in Casterbridge like this before. & # 8217 ; ( p. 28 )

Therefore, under traditional and antique direction, the maize concern did non make really good. Customers were unsated, and the town suffered nutritionally. Under modern direction nevertheless, the maize concern prospered.

Meanwhile, the great maize and hay traffic conducted by Henchard throve under the direction of Donald Farfrae as it had ne’er thriven earlier. It had once moved in jars ; now it went on oiled Castors. The old petroleum viva voce system of Henchard, in which everything depended upon his memory, and deals were made by lingua entirely, were swept off. Letterss and ledgers took the topographic point of & # 8220 ; I & # 8217 ; ll do & # 8217 ; T, & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; you shall hae & # 8217 ; t & # 8221 ; ; and, as in all such instances of progress, the rugged picturesqueness of the old method disappeared with its incommodiousnesss. ( p. 86 )

Farfrae demonstrates that modern ways are more effectual than the traditional ways that Henchard uses and as a consequence, Farfrae is the individual to take over Henchard & # 8217 ; s maize concern. Under Farfrae & # 8217 ; s guidance the maize concern thrives and all that are involved, from the direction to the villagers, benefit from the success of modernism.

Similarly, the position of Henchard and Farfrae are exemplifying of how modernism progresses over tradition. At one clip tradition was really popular ; likewise, Michael Henchard was besides one time really popular. Henchard was the Mayor of Casterbridge and the proprietor of an of import concern

& # 8230 ; in the chair of self-respect, sat a adult male about 40 old ages of age ; of heavy frame, big characteristics and commanding voice & # 8230 ; & # 8217 ; & # 8216 ; & # 8230 ; He was dressed in an antique eventide suit, an sweep of frilly shirt demoing on his wide thorax ; jeweled he-man, and a heavy gold concatenation ( p.30 ) .

Henchard & # 8217 ; s frock represents traditionality. However, it is inevitable that modernism will get the better of tradition and so Farfrae alterations functions with Henchard. Henchard is no longer the popular adult male in town and is seen as outdated. & # 8220 ; Henchard, who had hitherto been the most admired adult male in his circle, was the most admired no longer & # 8221 ; ( p.97 ) Farfrae & # 8217 ; s function alteration with Henchard finds him with the new position of Mayor of Casterbridge.

On the really flushing which followed there was a great tintinnabulation of bells in Casterbridge, and the combined brass, wood, goat’s rue and leather sets played around the town with more extravagance of percussion notes than of all time before. Farfrae was Mayor-the two-hundredth of a series organizing an elected dynasty dating back to the yearss of Charles I & # 8230 ; ( P. 237/238 )

Farfrae & # 8217 ; s place as Mayor is representative of modernisation being welcomed into Casterbridge. Tradition has been replaced by the patterned advance of modernism and those that try to keep on and keep the traditional ways, like Henchard, can merely fall buttocks and be forgotten.

Both Henchard and Farfrae are representational of how modernisation progresses over tradition and how the progress of engineering makes us lose the traditional accomplishments we one time treasured. Henchard builds his whole life on traditional values and methods merely to be left behind when Farfrae and his modern methods are accepted in Casterbridge. Just as England went through the alteration in agribusiness due to industrialisation, Thomas Hardy & # 8217 ; s Casterbridge society saw modernism advancement over tradition ; an inevitable alteration that will go on to go on until we run out of things to larn.


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