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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge


by Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #4

She began the study of Latin, incited by the Roman characteristics of the town she lived in. (20.30)

Elizabeth-Jane starts learning Latin because she's inspired by all the Roman history around her. It's a small detail, but it's another example of the way the past can influence the present.

Quote #5

She seized on these days for her periodical visits to the spot where her mother lay buried – the still-used burial ground of the old Roman-British city, whose curious feature was this, its continuity as a place of sepulture. Mrs. Henchard's dust mingled with the dust of women who lay ornamented with glass hairpins and amber necklaces, and men who held in their mouths coins of Hadrian, Posthumus, and the Constantines. (20.32)

Here's another example of the ancient Roman history of the town mingling with the present. The Roman dead share the same burial ground with the recently dead; their dust "mingles."

Quote #6

I won't be a slave to the past – I'll love where I choose! (25.24)

Lucetta tries to break with the past and escape it. Of course, that doesn't work out so well for her.

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