Donald Farfrae generous offer to show Michael Henchard how to restore the quality of a harvest of bad wheat is the basis of these two characters’ first interaction and subsequent business partnership. The conversation the two men have in the King of Prussia hotel, concerning this process, symbolizes more than the start of a dramatic relationship between these two characters. Susan Henchard and Elizabeth-Jane, Henchard’s long lost family members, overhear this conversation as they are wondering whether or not to approach Henchard again. In this context, the restoration of wheat, symbolizes the restoration of Susan and Michael Henchard’s marriage. Henchard, at first, believes wheat that has gone bad cannot be restored, but Farfrae shows him that there is still hope for improving the quality of his product, although it may never be what it once was. Just so, a wrong from the past is healed as well as it can be when Susan and Michael are reunited and remarried.
Restoring Wheat Quotes in The Mayor of Casterbridge
The The Mayor of Casterbridge quotes below all refer to the symbol of Restoring Wheat. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Mayor of Casterbridge published in 2003.).
Chapter 5 Quotes
"If anybody will tell me how to turn grown wheat into wholesome wheat I'll take it back with pleasure. But it can't be done."
Related Characters: Michael Henchard (speaker)
Related Symbols: Restoring Wheat
Page Number and Citation:
Restoring Wheat Symbol Timeline in The Mayor of Casterbridge
The timeline below shows where the symbol Restoring Wheat appears in The Mayor of Casterbridge. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...be willing to prove the contents of the note: that he has a method for restoring poor wheat to quality. Farfrae willingly demonstrates the technique with a few grains he has on hand.... (full context)