C. VENKATA SUBBA RAO
Asst. Prof of English,
Department of English, Osmania University,
Hyderabad, Telangana, India. 500007.
Hardy’s impact is strong and deep on the readers as his plots are constructed on the inherent and obvious factors or forces that govern life. Banking on such plots, he dexterously brings in a series of coincidences which are the result of chance. And chance, in turn, is the result of destiny, which is the imposition of fate. Thus, he makes us understand his philosophy in which ‘coincidences’ are the visible manifestations of ‘fate’ and ‘fate’ is the invisible source of all ‘coincidences’. ‘Chance’ and ‘destiny’ are conceptual assumptions that attempt to explain the causative link between ‘coincidences’ and ‘fate’. So, these concepts or terms are complementary and supplementary to one another.
Whether in life or literature, when people face life situations they have a choice in terms of how to respond to the situations. However, we cannot categorically say that human beings have a choice in choosing the life situations. On the contrary, at times, they feel that they have no choice even in their responses as (most often) they are context bound and imposed. The present article is an effort to highlight the significance of ‘coincidences’ in the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, in which we find an intense tussle between coincidences and character. Some of the major coincidences in the novel are analysed and judged in this article in order to assert the significance of coincidences in preference to the theory of moral character.
Key Words: Coincidence, Chance, Fate, Destiny, Character, Plot