Study Guide

The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 5

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Chapter 5

  • Turns out a big public dinner is being held at a nice hotel. The doors and windows are all open, and they see that the mayor and town councilmen are all eating and giving speeches.
  • The mayor is Michael Henchard!
  • Susan is overwhelmed and says she doesn't want to see him.
  • Elizabeth-Jane doesn't know why her mother is responding this way – she's excited that their "distant relative by marriage" is important and probably wealthy.
  • Then some people in the crowd start making a fuss about how Henchard had sold bad grain to the bakers in town so all the bread is bad.
  • Henchard says he can't help it – the farmers sold him bad grain, so what can he do?
  • He says he won't offer a refund.
  • The crowd still seems grumpy, but they shut up.

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