What's the story on Peter's inn?
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The pubs of Casterbidge have declined in respectability through the novel just as the patrons of the pubs have declined. Here we have the seedy Peter's Finger inn, situated in the dirtiest and most dangerous side of town. Ironically, the women have the whitest aprons in this dark and dirty section. It is also the home of the once-important "lifeholders," revealing the tendencies of all those in power to make reckless decisions and fall as well. Peter's Finger is an allegorical name. The finger of St. Peter decides which people will reside in heaven or hell. Here the fingers of the townspeople will point towards the sinners they find--Michael and Lucetta.