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If it were not for Henchard’s ill-temper, he would have lived the life that Farfrae had.Hardy goes as far as taking to the narration that character is fate and that “Farfrae’s character was just the reverse of Henchard’s, who might not inaptly be described as Faust has been described” (117-118).Anger, stemmed from an unhappy marriage at a young age, contributes to Henchard’s intolerable character, in combination with the intoxication of alcohol.
At times, Henchard’s anger was a result of jealousy.
Due to his pride, Henchard thought highly of himself, this makes him threatened by anyone who had potential to cost him his pride. He was gaining popularity amongst the people, and Henchard felt that Farfrae was defying him.
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.
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.The combination of emotional instability and an unhappy marriage had sealed the protagonist’s fate as he committed the transaction.This proves that one’s character determines their fate.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.At that time, Henchard showed the upmost care for Elizabeth-Jane.However, after he had read the letter, his attitude became condescending towards her and he treated her bitterly for some time.