Thomas Harding does an admirable job narrating the, The Life and Death of The Mayor of Casterbridge, Mr. Henchard, as well as the various other characters that influenced the phases of Mr. Henchard's downfall to prosperity and than again to his self-inflicted destruction. As self-inflicted as King Saul's death in Samuel 1 in the Bible. The narrative of
In the beginning of the novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Mr. Michael Henchard is described "of fine figure, swarthy, and stern in aspect" and had a "walk of the skilled countryman" and "showed in profile a facial angle[…]to be almost perpendicular."
(I,1). Also stated is that Mr. Henchard's "elbow almost touched (his wife's) shoulder" while walking beside each other, implying that he was a very tall man. (I,1) Saul from the Bible is also described as "as a handsome young man" who "stood head and shoulders above the people." (1 Sam 9:2) While both men were accompanied with someone of inferior status, Henchard with his wife and Saul with his servant, they were in search of something, Saul of his asses and Henchard of work, when their lives were altered. Mr. Henchard and Saul both fell asleep in a dining establishment and awoke to find that their lives had changed perpetually. Spouseless and childless Mr. Henchard moves and spends the bulk of his life in Casterbridge. It is later revealed in the story that he the mayor of Casterbridge.