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A father’s job is to love his children unconditionally. In this excerpt from Thomas Hardy’s, “The Mayor of Casterbridge,” Hardy recounts how a reunion between a father and his daughter results with an anomaly; a paradoxical one sided relationship between them that shows them trying to please each other but failing, suggesting that the father newly founded social status is keeping them isolated from each other and barring them from fully reconnecting with each other. From the start of the passage Hardy’s tone set the relationship between the father, Michael Henchard and his daughter, Elizabeth-James as cold and negative, and that it keeps on increasing negatively the more they spend time together. Hardy states that “of all the enigmas which ever confronted a girl there can have been seldom one like that which followed Henchard’s announcement of himself to elizabeth as her father”. Henchard does not like elizabeth from the start and that puzzles elizabeth. He hates her occasional “pretty and picturesque use of dialect words,” and he acts “cold” to her. Hardy tone opens up the passage to show the coldness of Henchard to Elizabeth.Hardy’s word choice also contributes to the portrayal of the complex relationship between henchard and elizabeth. He talks more about how Henchard acts cold to Elizabeth by saying “the coldness soon broke out,” this suggests that Henchard coldness towards elizabeth could not be controlled. Henchard is the “bitterness critic” of Elizabeth. Hardy’s word choice shows the complexity of their relationship and the paradoxical aspect of it by emphasizing how one moment Henchard is being mean to her and next saying “he was sorry ..he did not mean to rough”. Through Hardy’s tone and word choice the reader sees how complex Henchard and Elizabeth relationship is. One minute he dislike her the next he feels sorry for her. Elizabeth also keeps on trying to please him even if he is acting cold towards her, but it never works out. Hardy’s suggest that they are now on different social level and although reunited physically they will never be reunited socially, mentally, or even spiritually.

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