Mensonge, espionnage et tromperie dans le maire de casterbridge de thomas hardy (en anglais)

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- The use of deceit

- The fact or state of being deceived

- A ruse, a trick


- The state of being secret, hidden or concealed

- Ability to keep a secret

Eavesdropping: to listen secretly to a private conversation

Spying: toobserve secretively or furtively with hostile intent

Observing: to regard with attention so as to see or learn something.

Gossip: idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others

At the beginning of the story, there is a balance based on secrecy: each character has their own secret which causes no harm as long as it remains secret. However the deceptive nature ofsome characters leads to spying, observing and eavesdropping, which leads to deception, and the secrets are revealed.

I. Balance: secrets

1) Henchard and Susan

Their main secret is the aunction of Susan and the child at Weydon-Priors. (Chapter I) It is very important because the plot is based on that event.

The secret is kept for 20 years for Henchard and he feels guiltyabout that. As for Susan, she kept it until her death.

The Furmity woman reveals the secret to the inhabitants of Casterbridge.(chapter XXVIII) However, Henchard revealed it to Farfrae much before (Chapter VII) §“No, no...”. The Furmity woman’s intervention is a turning point because Lucetta doesn’t love Henchard anymore: that shows that the revelation make people’s behaviour change between eachothers. and it’s the beginning of Henchard’s social decline, which kills him.

The revelation also shows another aspect of Henchard’s personnality: his honesty because he dosen’t deny the accusation, even if nobody believes the furmity woman because the clerk tells her “Tis a conocted story [...]so hold your tongue”. Instead denying the fact Henchard says “Tis as true as the light”. (ChapterXXVIII) The comparison shows that he really wanted to tell the truth because of the importance of this past event.

This secret also shows that secrecy changes people’s feelings about the others because Lucetta accepted to marry Henchard until she learns about the aunction. She says “Yes, yes. But it was under compulsion, and I did not know all your past-”.(Chapter XXIX)

They alsokeep secret their meeting a the Ring (Chapter XI)

Susan and Henchard hide their past union to Elisabeth-Jane.

At the end, Henchard doesn’t tell Elisabeth-Jane that Newson was in Casterbridge (Chapter XLIII). When she learns that her father was there, she understands why Henchard left the town. It’s said“Elizabeth now gave earnest heed to his story.”

2) Henchard and LucettaTheir secret is their past love affair+ secret meetings (Chapter XXI-XXII)

“Henchard started. Probably the picture drawn by the unsuspecting Donald of himself under the same roof with Lucetta was too striking to be received with equanimity.” (Chapter XXXII) Farfrae doesn’t know about Henchard and Lucetta until the skimmity ride.

Jopp is the first to discover the secret and has theintention to spread it. (Chapter XXXVI) § “Jopp sat on...”

3) Elizabeth-Jane

She kept her feelings secret, she doesn’t tell anyone about her love for Farfrae.

She also doesn’t tell Henchard that she had already worked at the King of Prussia (Chapter VII).When Henchard learnt that, the relationship between the two characters became worse. (Chapter XX) That’s when she met Lucetta anddecided to live with her because of the tension between Henchard and her.

4) Farfrae and Lucetta

Lucetta kept secret her union with Farfrae until a few days after their wedding, when Henchard asked to marry her.

The revelation shows another aspect of Lucetta’s personnality: her selfishness because she doesn’t care about Elisabeth-Jane’s feelings anymore (chapter XXX)...
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