Irony in The Mayor of Casterbridge
The noblest efforts of a hero, ironically involves him in guilt and leads him to misery. Thomas Hardy’s novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge concentrates mainly on the life and events of a certain Michael Henchard.. The primary element of irony embraces also the main theme of the story, that life is a sum product of consequences of one’s personal choices and that of simple destiny. The Mayor of Casterbridge clearly features many ironic twists in the plot, both obvious ones such as Henchard discovering Elizabeth-Jane's true parentage at such an inappropriate time, and more subtle uses of irony as when Mrs. Goodenough only betrays Henchard's past because Susan and Elizabeth-Jane remind her of it. He endures many severe events as the Mayor of Casterbridge and his fate seems to constantly oppose him. Fate plays an enormous role in the life of Michael Henchard and indeed, whenever he seems to recover from his previous misfortune; as a consequence of his stubborn characteristics, his fate stands resilient in his path to happiness once again. Certainly, Michael Henchard’s fate is an outcome of his behavior towards his family and friends but it is also evident that Henchard’s fate was not in favor of him from the day of his birth. Conversely, Henchard does possess some positive aspects and therefore, this implies that character is not directly proportional to fate. Henchard’s only possession at the conclusion of the novel is his fate yet this fate is the cause of all the tragedies with his loved ones and above all, himself. Michael Henchard is a complex character with many differing characteristics and throughout the entire novel it is extremely complex to decide whether Henchard is in actual fact a desperate and innocently self-seeking man or an irrational operator. Indeed, Henchard is a victim of his own delusions. He has falsely believed and is being psychotically driven to accept a misconception about who he truly is....
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