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Chapters 30 and 31

Chapter 30

The move Farfrae had referred to is to Lucetta's house. Lucetta had arrived before Farfrae from Port Bredy in order to break the news and prepare for his return. Lucetta, upon learning that Farfrae has not told Elizabeth-Jane of their marriage, goes upstairs to converse with her young companion.
Elizabeth-Jane ignorantly questions why the church bells are ringing, probably for someone's marriage, she guesses. Lucetta switches the subject and asks Elizabeth-Jane to recall her story about the woman with two suitors. Elizabeth-Jane reveals that she has guessed that the woman is Lucetta, and Lucetta, glad to relieve her soul, confesses to Elizabeth-Jane the new progress in her love life. She is adamant that since the first man's wife had returned that the man no longer owed her anything. However, Elizabeth-Jane, guessing sadly at the identity of the first man, is stout with her convictions, telling Lucetta that she firmly believes that she does in fact owe allegiance to the first man because of their prior intimacies. She continues harshly by telling Lucetta that if she does not marry her father, then she should not marry at all.
Right then, Elizabeth-Jane notices Lucetta's wedding ring and assumes that Lucetta has indeed married her father, but she soon realizes that the marriage has been to Farfrae. Lucetta tells her that they both wish her to stay on in the house, but Elizabeth-Jane cannot face such a livelihood and decides instead to move out that very night. She finds suitable lodging and thinks about how she will support herself.

Chapter 31

By now, there is no one who does not know of Henchard's past mistake with his first wife, and the town livens at the scandal. Henchard appears to be reversing his success, with the current events marking the initial downturns. Another mistake in Henchard's business, though misunderstood in the public's perception, nails the final spike in Henchard's grave as he loses all legitimacy in business.
Elizabeth-Jane is tearful to see her father in a debt-collection meeting, and though she tries to call on him, she is advised to leave him alone for the day. Henchard, meanwhile inside, offers his creditors all his earthly possessions to attempt to repair even some of the damage he has caused. The debtors, seeing his earnestness and noting his honesty, are not harsh in their dealings, but Henchard feels their kindness is undeserved.
Throughout these hard times, only Elizabeth-Jane offers him any support, attempting to see him and believing in his ability to come out of his downturn, but still she continues to be turned away at the door. Henchard has moved out of his large house and shares a small cottage with Jopp now.
Elizabeth-Jane is sad that she cannot help her father out of his depression, and she soon learns that Farfrae has purchases Henchard's old business and home. The workers are happy with the change in administration, and the stores now bustle with activity under Farfrae's direction.

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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