As Henchard falls, Farfrae rises to greatness because of his character.
In addition to his ill-tempered character, one serious flaw that Henchard possesses is his impulsive choices that he makes based on his emotions.
Henchard’s decision of not informing Elizabeth-Jane of the return of her father came back to haunt him when Newson met with Donald Farfrae which lead to Henchard’s departing from Casterbridge. This shows that, once again Hardy uses elements of Henchard’s character, such as anger and secrecy, to mold Henchard’s fate.
At times, Henchard’s anger was a result of jealousy.
Henchard’s irrational decisions invoked by his emotions lead him down a spiral, and in result, he suffers needlessly because of them.
Unlike Henchard’s prideful characteristic, Farfrae never planned to go against Henchard and this allowed him to lead a prosperous life as Farfrae did not dedicate his existence on destroying one man.
However, after he had read the letter, his attitude became condescending towards her and he treated her bitterly for some time.
Eventually, he set himself above the news and started to care for her once again.
In the first chapter of the novel, Hardy ensures that this flaw is obvious to the reader as Henchard, drunk and angry, sells his wife Susan, and his daughter Elizabeth-Jane, for five guineas at a county fair (19).
Anger, stemmed from an unhappy marriage at a young age, contributes to Henchard’s intolerable character, in combination with the intoxication of alcohol.