Emma S. Shaw '16, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
This essay examines Thomas Hardy's understanding and subversion of gender roles in The Mayor of Casterbridge by focusing on the novel's two most prominent characters and their respective progressions over the course of the narrative. Michael Henchard’s hypermasculine behavior and eventual undoing is juxtaposed with Elizabeth-Jane’s active rejection of the male gaze, as well as her unique role as a proxy for the reader. In his 1886 novel, Hardy questions the legitimacy of gender expectations by acknowledging and subsequently undermining patriarchal traditions.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Shaw, Emma S., "The Subversion of Traditional Gender Roles in Thomas Hardy’s 'The Mayor of Casterbridge'" (2016). Student Publications. 449.