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Chapters 14 and 15

Chapter 14

Susan and Elizabeth-Jane move in with Henchard, and he makes efforts to ensure the comfort of their move. The stability of the new marriage does well for Elizabeth-Jane who grows more mature and beautiful with her diminished worries and higher status. Yet she does not abuse her newfound wealth and continues to live in moderation. Henchard notices the features of his new stepdaughter and inquires one day about the color of her hair as a child, which startles Susan. The issue drops, however, when Henchard insists that Elizabeth-Jane be called Miss Henchard instead of Miss Newson, but she asks time to consider the request.
Meanwhile, under Farfrae's guidance, Henchard's corn and hay business thrives. Elizabeth-Jane notices how the two men are always together, resulting from the elder's respect for the younger's intellect. However, she also notices that Farfrae is slightly perturbed by his employer's affection towards him, telling him that to best serve his position, he must have some independence. She further observes that Farfrae might have an interest in her, though she quickly negates this as the reason for his glances.
One day, she receives a note, asking her to come to a granary at Durnover Hill where Henchard has some business. Thinking it somehow related, she obliges the note only to find Farfrae in the specified location. Her shyness encourages her to hide from view at first, but he quickly discovers her there and tells her that he has kept her appointment. Elizabeth-Jane reveals that she has not called him there, so the two wait a bit longer, thinking a third party has made the request for their presence. They converse a little, he revealing that he does not wish to go back to Scotland, but soon Elizabeth-Jane must leave. It is raining, so Farfrae cautions that the wheat husks on her clothes will ruin her outfit. He blows on them to remove them, and then she leaves.

Chapter 15

No one in Casterbridge notices Elizabeth-Jane's attractiveness at first, but soon, her looks are known throughout town. Elizabeth-Jane marvels at what a change her life has gone through, now that she might be considered the town beauty. However, she is not thoroughly happy since she is uneducated and unrefined.
Henchard and Farfrae continue to be good friends, but soon, there is a slight falling out. A laborer, Abel Whittle, is incessantly tardy so as to enrage Henchard so much that one morning, he drags a half-naked Whittle out of bed. He demands that Whittle work that day or be fired, even without his pants, until Farfrae comes upon the scene and finds an outraged and embarrassed Whittle. Farfrae tells Whittle to go home and get properly dressed, disobeying Henchard in public. Henchard is furious and laments that he has told his life's secret to Farfrae. Farfrae says that he was not taking advantage of Henchard's confidence but the damage has already been done. The workers now hold Farfrae, over Henchard, in esteem. This fall in status is confirmed to Henchard when he meets a child messenger who does not know who he is and asks for the advice of Farfrae instead. Henchard is angered but Farfare's sincere ignorance of why his employer scorns him calms Henchard, though he still regrets having confided in him.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1 and 2
Chapters 3 and 4
Chapters 5 and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 9 and 10
Chapters 11, 12, and 13
Chapters 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapters 17 and 18
Chapters 19 and 20
Chapters 21 and 22
Chapters 23 and 24
Chapters 25 and 26
Chapter 27
Chapters 28 and 29
Chapters 30 and 31
Chapters 32 and 33
Chapter 34
Chapters 35 and 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapters 40 and 41
Chapters 42 and 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45


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