Costing Farfrae his job, Henchard had begun a rivalry with Farfrae – one that he would soon lose (111).Henchard’s irrational decisions invoked by his emotions lead him down a spiral, and in result, he suffers needlessly because of them.
Unfortunately, Henchard’s flaws and misfortunes cost him everything and doomed him to a predetermined tragic life.
Likewise, Farfrae’s opposite attitude on life brings prosperity.
Henchard dismissed Farfrae’s kindness and later took the rivalry as far as to battle Farfrae to death.
Henchard’s impulsive actions, built on anger, almost labeled him a murderer, thus, it would have further destined him into a more miserable life.
While talking to Elizabeth-Jane about the matter, he referred to Farfrae as “an enemy to our house” (116).
Henchard was almost speechless because he realized that he would not have been as generous to Farfrae if their positions were reversed (227).Fate is the predetermination of events beyond a person’s control.The quote, “A man’s character is his fate” (Olney 118), proposed by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, supports the idea that a determined end is the outcome of one’s character.This shows that, once again, one’s fate is determined by their character.Farfrae is the mirror opposite of Henchard while Hardy describes him as “ruddy, of fair countenance, bright-eyed, and slight in build” (40), and Henchard is described as tall, dark-eyed and strong (7-8).This is same aspect of Henchard that made him so forbearing and committed to his wedding vows There is also evidence to suggest Henchard is impulsive: for example, Henchard, without taking the time to consider his decision, dismisses Farfrae after the party.Hardy is saying this is something Henchard couldn't control. A quality in all great leaders is that they are able to make quick decisions.The combination of emotional instability and an unhappy marriage had sealed the protagonist’s fate as he committed the transaction.This proves that one’s character determines their fate.Anger, stemmed from an unhappy marriage at a young age, contributes to Henchard’s intolerable character, in combination with the intoxication of alcohol.The fusion of anger and intoxication results in Henchard’s intensified emotions and exaggerated behaviour.