Study Guide

The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 14

By Thomas Hardy

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Chapter 14

  • Susan, who is now officially Mrs. Henchard again, moves into Henchard's big fancy house with Elizabeth-Jane.
  • Elizabeth-Jane is happy to live in such a nice house, but she isn't overly triumphant about it. She knows how uncertain things can be and doesn't want to get too attached to their newfound prosperity.
  • Elizabeth-Jane dresses more nicely than she used to, but she doesn't wear a lot of the frills and bows that other young ladies wear.
  • Henchard is glad Elizabeth-Jane has grown up into such a pretty and sensible young lady.
  • He wonders, though, why her hair is so light. When she was a baby, it was a lot darker.
  • Susan says that hair color changes as babies grow up and warns him not to drop hints to Elizabeth-Jane that he knew her when she was younger.
  • He suggests one day that Elizabeth-Jane should change her last name to Henchard and be known as Miss Henchard around town instead of Miss Newson.
  • She says she'd rather not, since it would seem disrespectful to her dead father, Captain Newson.
  • Henchard can't argue with this, since she doesn't know the whole story.
  • Elizabeth-Jane likes watching Henchard and Farfrae working in the offices, which she can see from her window.
  • She is developing a crush on Farfrae!
  • She notices that Henchard and Farfrae seem to be inseparable.
  • Henchard thinks very highly of Farfrae and relies on him for advice on almost everything.
  • One day Elizabeth-Jane gets a note to go and meet someone at one of Henchard's storage houses.
  • She assumes it's a quick question that has to do with his business, so she heads on over.
  • When she gets there, she ends up getting covered with husks of wheat.
  • Then Farfrae comes in.
  • She assumes the note must have been from him and asks him what he needs.
  • He didn't send the note; he got one, too.
  • They wait around together for a while and then realize that someone must have been playing a trick on them.
  • Before they go, Farfrae has to point out that Elizabeth-Jane has wheat husks all over her.
  • He blows them off for her, which is kind of an intimate thing to do to your employer's daughter.
  • He notices that Elizabeth-Jane is pretty hot, and offers to walk her home.
  • She gets embarrassed and they go their separate ways.

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