Study Guide

The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 42

By Thomas Hardy

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Chapter 42

  • Lucetta is buried at the church and Farfrae grieves for her.
  • Of course, if Lucetta had lived, he would have been angry that she lied to him about her past, but since she's dead, it's a lot easier to forgive her.
  • Henchard and Farfrae avoid each other, but Farfrae sticks with his old plan to set Henchard up with a grain and seed shop in town.
  • The shop does well, and Elizabeth-Jane helps out a lot.
  • Henchard does whatever Elizabeth-Jane says. He's terrified of offending her and making her move away.
  • He notices that she has a lot of new books and wonders how she can afford them when she's usually so good about saving money.
  • She avoids his questions when he asks about them, and he doesn't press the point.
  • He begins to suspect that Farfrae and Elizabeth-Jane are an item, and he's heartbroken at the idea that Farfrae might take Elizabeth-Jane away from him.
  • But he doesn't want to interfere. He's come to realize that Elizabeth-Jane has the right to do what she likes, as does Farfrae.
  • He does, however, start spying on her.
  • He sees the two of them meet on one of her long walks.
  • He's jealous, but still promises himself not to interfere.

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