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In addition to his ill-tempered character, one serious flaw that Henchard possesses is his impulsive choices that he makes based on his emotions.
Fate is the predetermination of events beyond a person’s control.
The quote, “A man’s character is his fate” (Olney 118), proposed by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, supports the idea that a determined end is the outcome of one’s character.
Unlike Henchard’s prideful characteristic, Farfrae never planned to go against Henchard and this allowed him to lead a prosperous life as Farfrae did not dedicate his existence on destroying one man.
This illustrates Hardy’s depiction of the theme that one’s character leads to his fate.
Anger, stemmed from an unhappy marriage at a young age, contributes to Henchard’s intolerable character, in combination with the intoxication of alcohol.
The fusion of anger and intoxication results in Henchard’s intensified emotions and exaggerated behaviour.This shows his stubbornness brought an aspect forbearance.However the same character traits also made him rely on a prediction from a fortuneteller becoming his financial downfall.I believe the characteristics that allowed Henchard to rise to social respectability and fall into destitution where the same."Character is fate"(Plato) For example Henchard stubbornness and pride allowed him to keep his 21-year vow not to drink.Eventually, he set himself above the news and started to care for her once again.As atonement for the wrong that he had committed against his biological daughter Elizabeth-Jane, Henchard decides to care for Newson’s daughter.Despite accepting the shop that was given to him by the town, and the various acts that he had done for the sake of Elizabeth-Jane, once Henchard learned the news that Newson returned (289), he decided to keep Elizabeth-Jane in ignorance (323).Henchard’s decision of not informing Elizabeth-Jane of the return of her father came back to haunt him when Newson met with Donald Farfrae which lead to Henchard’s departing from Casterbridge. This shows that, once again Hardy uses elements of Henchard’s character, such as anger and secrecy, to mold Henchard’s fate.This shows that, once again, one’s fate is determined by their character.Farfrae is the mirror opposite of Henchard while Hardy describes him as “ruddy, of fair countenance, bright-eyed, and slight in build” (40), and Henchard is described as tall, dark-eyed and strong (7-8).