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The Mayor of Casterbridge

Uploaded by frollypoo on Mar 02, 2002

Estimable Elizabeth Jane


There are few fictional characters that possess venerable qualities. One character that has these characteristics is a young lady by the name of Elizabeth Jane; who is a character from Thomas Hardy’s, The Mayor of Casterbridge. This novel was set in Victorian England in a small rural town named Casterbridge; it is here that Elizabeth Jane grows up in an environment full of deception and falseness dictated by her parents and close relations. One would expect her to exhibit these loathsome traits, but throughout the novel Elizabeth Jane remains the most admirable through her humble, loyal and strengthening traits.

Elizabeth Jane’s ability to remain humble caused people to regard her with great respect. For example, when Elizabeth Jane and her mother first arrived in Casterbridge with very little money, out of charity, they received free board at The Three Mariners Inn. Elizabeth Jane felt much obliged to the innkeeper and “this single hearted girl…sacrifice (d) her personal comfort and dignity to the common weal” (Hardy 42). Elizabeth Jane never felt too proud to help anyone out. Moreover, when Elizabeth Jane moved into Henchard’s house, and was suddenly flooded with riches, “She had thought it over, her usual fear of exaggerating appearances endangered a deep sadness. ‘There is something wrong in all this’, she mused, ‘If only they knew what an unfinished girl I am- that I can’t talk Italian, or use globes…” (Hardy 95). Elizabeth Jane could have had every piece of clothing or accessory she ever desired, but instead, bought books and tried to better her education and not succumb to superficial desires. Furthermore, when Lucetta asks Elizabeth Jane to move in with her, Elizabeth Jane can only look to the negative and dissuade her for she believes she is not adequate enough. In a conversation with Lucetta she said,
‘I am no accomplished person. And a companion to you, dear madam, must be that’
‘Oh, not necessarily.’
‘Not? But I can’t help using rural words sometimes, when I don’t mean to.’
‘Never mind. I shall like to know them.’ (Hardy 136)

Elizabeth Jane does not try to conceal what she is from Lucetta, but admits to Lucetta that she is not educated, and has many faults but would like to learn and better herself. By remaining humble, Elizabeth Jane stayed true to herself and set and example for young ladies in her community.

Throughout the novel, Elizabeth Jane remains loyal to many...

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Uploaded by:   frollypoo

Date:   03/02/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   5 pages (1,025 words)

Views:   1662

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