The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Dissatisfaction Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Here and everywhere are folk dying before their time like frosted leaves, though wanted by the world, the country, and their own families, as badly as can be; while I, an outcast and an incumbrance, wanted by nobody, I live on, and can't die if I try." (44.10)
Henchard feels like an outcast; no one cares whether he lives or dies, and yet he "live[s] on." He uses the simile of "frosted leaves" to describe people "dying before their time," perhaps because people have as little control over their deaths as they do over the weather.
The expression of her face was one of nervous pleasure rather than of gaiety. (44.14)
Even after she has married Farfrae and gotten everything she ever wanted, Elizabeth-Jane has a hard time being happy.
Michael Henchard's Will
That Elizabeth-Jane Farfrae be not told of my death, or made to grieve on account of me.
& that I be not bury'd in consecrated ground.
&that no sexton be asked to toll the bell.
&that nobody is wished to see my dead body.
&that no murners [sic] walk behind me at my funeral.
&that no flours [sic] be planted on my grave.
& that no man remember me.
To his I put my name.
Michael Henchard. (45.27)
Henchard's final will and testament sums up the dissatisfaction of his life. He doesn't want to be remembered or mourned; he doesn't even want a grave marker.