In The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy explores the role of character in determining fate. He uses a character's personality flaws to determine their fate. Hardy utilizes such traits as temper and lack of control. Hardy takes his character and places them in a situation where their personalities usually make the situation worse.
Throughout the novel the character, Lucetta, is portrayed as a spoiled woman. She likes things to be the best for herself. She comes to Casterbridge in order to finish what she and Henchard proposed to do earlier, that is, marry one another. When she refuses to see him, because she likes Farfrae, she is intentionally provoking him. Henchard confronts her about this matter and her marriage to him. Lucetta refuses to marry until Henchard threatens to black mail her. He intends to black mail her with the love letters she wrote him earlier. She agrees to the marriage. Lucetta, however, marries Farfrae. She does this because he is good looking, better off than Henchard, and totally infatuated with her. This course was the best for her at the moment. She knew of Henchard's past, she had experienced his temper, and was afraid he would ruin her. Lucetta also puts a great deal of emphasis on looks.
The next event in the story is when Farfrae's idea for the fair works better than his own. In a fit of jealous rage, Henchard fires his good friend. This alienates Farfrae from both Henchard and Elizabeth-Jane. It also distances Henchard from Elizabeth-Jane and Farfrae. His temper has now caused a fault in his business and his family. Farfrae sets up a business in competition with him. Henchard also denies Farfrae the right to court his daughter. This of course pushes Elizabeth-Jane farther from her father.
Henchard's fate was strongly rooted in his character. He has several character flaws that contributed to the breakdown of every relationship he had. At the beginning of the novel it is his temper that starts the whole story off. At...