The Mayor of Casterbridge

What does the fact that Michael would sell his wife tell us about his character?

between chapters 1-5

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Michael feels that his marriage at a young age rotted any chance he had of living decently, while Susan is soiled by the fact that her husband would sell her as he would sell a horse. Oddly, at the time, selling one's wife was not an uncommon occurrence. Although Michael is portrayed as largely a sympathetic character, selling his wife was a pretty low thing to do.