From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge


by Thomas Hardy

Analysis: What's Up With the Title?

The title of this novel seems generic, at first – "The Mayor of Casterbridge." Sure, OK. It's going to be about a guy from a town called "Casterbridge" who becomes the Mayor. But the subtitle gives away something pretty major: it's about "The Life and Death of a Man of Character," so we're told that this guy has a reputation for good principles.

We know, just from the title page of the novel, that our friend the Mayor is going to die. Sure, everyone dies eventually. But usually a novel ends with the main character "living happily ever after." Not in this book, though! Does knowing from the get-go that the Mayor is going to die detract from the suspense or make us lose interest in the novel? Not really – what's important is finding out how he spends his life and what happens to him before he dies.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...