What themes do The Mayor of Casterbridge and Great Expectations share, apart from wealth and status?

What themes do The Mayor of Casterbridge and Great Expectations share, apart from wealth and status?

What themes do The Mayor of Casterbridge and Great Expectations share, apart from wealth and status?

What themes do The Mayor of Casterbridge and Great Expectations share, apart from wealth and status?

Both of these novels deal with crimes. In Mayor of Casterbridge, Henchard sells his wife and daughter and lies about it and hides from it for years. In Great Expectations, Pip hides from the guilt of his “crime” (that of stealing food, giving it to a convict and helping that convict escape) for many years as well.Guilt is another theme shared by both novels. The guilt of both Henchard and Pip becomes a driving and destructive force in each of their lives.Ambition is another theme shared by both novels. In Mayor of Casterbridge, Henchard’s ambition to give up drink and make something of himself becomes his “raison d’etre”. The problem is, though, that he is a hypocrite, so his ambition is not a redeeming quality but one that consumes him in order to purge himself of guilt. That is why in the end, he is destroyed. Pip, on the other hand, is ambitious to fulfill his “expectations”, but his heart is good, unlike Henchard, and in the end, although things don’t work out exactly as he has expected, he emerges more victoriously than Henchard. He has people that love and care for him. Henchard does not.Both novels were written in the 1800s and have naturalistic themes — i.e. man’s struggle against nature, man’s struggle against society, man’s struggle against himself. Naturalistic authors were influenced by the ideas of Darwin and both Dickens and Hardy’s works presented man in his naturalistic environment.Read the analysis of both novels here on enotes. Also read about naturalism in literature here on enotes.
What themes do The Mayor of Casterbridge and Great Expectations share, apart from wealth and status?
What themes do The Mayor of Casterbridge and Great Expectations share, apart from wealth and status?
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What themes do The Mayor of Casterbridge and Great Expectations share, apart from wealth and status?
Read More