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Chapters 32 and 33

Chapter 32

One night, Henchard makes his way to a bridge, renowned for attracting the down-and-out personalities who want to revel in their misery privately. There, he mopes until Jopp walks by and informs him that Farfrae and Lucetta have moved into his old home. He is disgusted to learn further that they have even purchased his old furniture! Jopp leaves Henchard alone with his thoughts, until Henchard is again interrupted, this time by Farfrae.
Farfrae is saddened to hear Henchard's bitterness at him, and he tries to offer Henchard lodging until he is on better standing but Henchard refuses the charity although thanking Farfrae for the proposal. Farfrae also explains that he wishes to give Henchard any of his belongings that are now in Farfrae's possession, and Henchard is taken aback by the genuine kindness.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth-Jane has forced entry into Henchard's existence by demanding to care for him since he has caught cold. He tries to push her away but she is adamant and remains. Her care quickens his recovery, so much so that he seeks work as a hay-trusser and is hired by Farfrae immediately. Although there is great awkwardness that Farfrae is now Henchard's employer, the role of an intermediary foreman lightens the stark relationship. Henchard's sorrows are many: Farfrae is rumored to be the next mayor and his loss of Lucetta is heavily regretted. However, Henchard appears to recant his misery by counting down to a certain date - the day when his solemn oath ends and he can partake in alcohol again. One day soon thereafter, Elizabeth-Jane is startled to overhear that Henchard has taken up drinking for the first time in 21 years.

Chapter 33

Every Sunday in Casterbridge, many visit the Three Mariners Inn after church to partake in a half-pint of liquor over a lively conversation around the sermon just heard. That particular Sunday, Henchard chooses as the date of his release from his oath. The townspeople call him a stranger to the locale, and Henchard acknowledges but announces that he will make up for lost time. He demands to hear a song and picks a pessimistic psalm about a misfortunate man. The singer soon realizes that Henchard means to denote Farfrae with the lyrics and chides him for the blasphemy. Just then, Elizabeth-Jane enters to take him home, relieved he has not consumed too much as yet. However, from observing his mien, she is frightened for Farfrae's safety, not knowing what Henchard might do to harm him in his rage.
One day, Lucetta passes a working Henchard in her husband's yards and they have a biting exchange. The next day, she writes to tell him never to speak to her in such tones again. By now, Henchard has turned to alcohol to relieve his problems, causing Elizabeth-Jane to visit him daily to attempt to dissuade his pursuit of spirits by offering him tea. One day, she observes her father motion as if to push Farfrae off a landing and is sick with the thought. She tries to convince herself that she was only seeing a momentary lapse of weakness on the part of Henchard, but she thinks better of it and decides to warn Farfrae to beware.

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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