| Quote #1
"I sank into one of those gloomy fits I sometimes suffer from, on account o' the loneliness of my domestic life, when the world seems to have the blackness of hell, and, like Job, I could curse the day that gave me birth." (12.21)
Job is a figure from the Old Testament. He is a good man who goes through a series of increasingly horrible misfortunes because God is testing his faith. How is Henchard like Job? His description of his gloom here sounds a lot like what we would call clinical depression.
| Quote #2
Henchard bent and kissed her cheek. The moment and the act he had contemplated for weeks with a thrill of pleasure; yet it was no less than a miserable insipidity to him now that it had come. His reinstation of her mother had been chiefly for the girl's sake, and the fruition of the whole scheme was such dust and ashes as this. (19.48)
Henchard has looked forward to claiming Elizabeth-Jane as his own daughter for a long time. But when it finally happens, he discovers she's not his real daughter after all. More broken dreams!
| Quote #3
"After that they were much apart, heard nothing of each other for a long time, and she felt her life quite closed up for her." (24.53)
Lucetta describes her past life to Elizabeth-Jane here. She felt hopeless when Henchard said he couldn't marry her, because her reputation was ruined and all of her friends had abandoned her. No wonder she felt that "her life was quite closed up for her."