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Consider what is unusual about the first chapter of Return of the native

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Introduction

Return of the Native Consider what is unusual about the first chapter? 'Return of the Native' by Thomas Hardy is a novel emphasising the mysteries of 'Egdon Heath'. The story revolves around Egdon, a character in its' own right. It tells the story of 'tempestuous' Eustacia Vye, who longs for love and freedom of the 'prison' of the heath and how this longing causes havoc in Egdon. The first chapter is called 'A face on which Time makes but little impression,' Thomas Hardy is showing the readers that Egdon Heath had timelessness qualities. The first line of the novel gives the reader a specific time, 'A Saturday afternoon in November,' this frames the chapter. 'Approaching the time of twilight,' Hardy gives the specific time to capture the readers. 'It's at that very point,' crucial importance in time. From the reoccurring specific times in the chapter, the reader can tell that time will play a large part in the story. ...read more.

Middle

Also the fact that the first chapter is so different might entice the reader to read on. Hardy sets the scene in the first chapter, we find out that Egdon is very dark and mysterious. Hardy uses many descriptive words to give the readers a vivid description of the heath, 'sombre', 'gloomy', 'darkness', 'obscurity' and 'black'. The readers can now see how gloomy and dark the heath is and gives a hint that the rest of the story will too be dark and gloomy. Hardy uses the words 'titanic' and 'colossal' to emphasise the size of Egdon and how isolated it is. The heath is very big but the people are very small, this shows the place is more important that people and it belittles them. Hardy tells the readers how the heath is most powerfully felt at night and it is 'a near relation of night'. Egdon becomes a dominant position in the reader's minds. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hardy makes it seem as if we are sitting in an arena watching the lives of the people and the surrounding heath. Everything only every happens in Egdon Heath, they never move from there. It appears as like a stage, we see people coming in and leaving but we never actually move from Egdon. Egdon Heath is the dominant presence in the first chapter. Its' importance is shown by the fact that Hardy has taken a whole chapter to describe Egdon. Another point about Hardy taking a whole chapter for the description, is a hint to the reader that the scenery is a big part of the story that will definitely affect people's moods. Hardy has effectively captured readers minds and gave a valid account of Egdon Heath to them. The relevance of this large detailed description undoubtedly will become obvious throughout the rest of the novel. The mysterious effect that Egdon holds will make the rest the novel fascinating for the reader and therefore Hardy has been successful. ?? ?? ?? ?? English literature ...read more.

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