Study Guide

The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 16

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Chapter 16

  • Farfrae and Henchard aren't such close friends anymore, but they still do business together as always.
  • One day, Farfrae asks Henchard to borrow some big cloths to use as tarps to create a tent for some outdoor entertainment on a holiday.
  • Henchard immediately agrees, but then starts thinking that he should do something similar.
  • He even decides to do it on the same day, and to have a much bigger, fancier affair than Farfrae's.
  • He decides to have his entertainment up on a hillside, while Farfrae is setting up his pavilion in a narrow lane under some spreading trees.
  • Everyone is excited about both parties, especially Henchard's since his entertainments will be free and Farfrae is charging a little bit for his.
  • But on the day of the holiday, the weather is bad.
  • No one comes to Henchard's party because it's too exposed out on the hill.
  • Farfrae's is under a tent, so everyone goes there instead.
  • Henchard is very jealous.
  • He ends up taking Susan and Elizabeth-Jane down to Farfrae's tent to see what's up.
  • There's music, and people are dancing.
  • Henchard overhears some people talking about how much better Farfrae's party is than Henchard's.
  • He's not happy.
  • Elizabeth-Jane is, though – Farfrae asks her to dance!
  • And then he walks her home afterwards!
  • He seems almost ready to propose to her, but doesn't.
  • Henchard is so angry and jealous that he says he doesn't need a manager anymore.
  • Farfrae agrees to go.
  • Henchard regrets it later, but Farfrae is determined to go anyway.

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