The Mayor of Casterbridge

Rustic characters in The Mayor of Casterbridge College

Hardy's characters may be divided into three groups or classes on the basis of their significance in the main action of a novel: First of all, there are the protagonists. the action is chiefly concerned with their destiny. Secondly, there are characters of a secondary importance who are in contact with the chief figures and derive interest and significance from such contact. They play only a subordinate part in the development of action. Thirdly, there are the minor rustic characters who do not have much significance as far as the main action is concerned. They play the role of on-lookers and provide Hardy the opportunity to articulate his own views. They are also called the, 'chorus group' or the, "philosophical party", on the basis of their function. The group of characters first seen looking in at Henchard presiding over the public dinner in the Kings Arms and later among the company at the Three Mariners listening to Farfrae’s songs constitute this group. They are common to Hardy’s Wessex novels with the exception of Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, and grandest of them being in Far From the Madding Crowd. In The Mayor of Casterbridge, this chorus comprises Mother Cuxsom, Solomon Longways, Christopher Coney,...

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