• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How well does Thomas Hardy's novel

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Susana Corona Cruz GCSE English Coursework How well does Thomas Hardy's novel "The Return of the Native" succeed as a tragedy? On the first chapter of this novel Egdon Heath is presented as an untameable force "...unmoved during so many centuries, through the crisis of so many things, that it could only be imagined to await one last crisis - the final overthrow". Thus, from the very beginning of the novel we can expect an outcome of tragic possibilities. Similarly to ancient Greek tragedies, the action in "The Return of the Native" takes place during a restricted period of time. Usually, in Greek tragedies the plot developed within 24 hours, while Hardy limits himself to the space of 5 books, which represents an exact time of 1 year and a day. Although the novel extends to a 6th book; the main action and the tragedy itself is developed within the first five books. As its title indicates, the sixth book, "Aftercourses" was added to please the readers of the magazine in which his novel was published, in order to put a more closed end to the series. He provided them with a happy ending; as Thomasin and Venn end up marred. However, in its 1912 edition, Hardy included a footnote at the end of the book in which he stated that it was left to the reader to choose whichever ending he/she preferred. ...read more.

Middle

Ironically, instead of Clym changing them, it is him who changes into becoming one of them, as towards the end of the novel he becomes a furze-cutter. The 'fault' or 'flaw' within Clym's character, apart from upholding an over-romantic dream of nurturing the rustics with education, seems to be his marriage to Eustacia. They are completely different. Eustacia hopes Clym abandons his plans of educating and decides to take her to Paris instead (the only reason why she married him, holding the prospect of fleeing abroad). On the contrary, Clym never had any intention of doing this; he was more attached to the heath than ever and was determined not to go back to France. He had plans for becoming a teacher and ironically thought Eustacia to be her perfect partner in his education projects "She is excellently educated, and would make a good matron in a boarding school." He loves his birthplace and is in absolute harmony with the heath, whereas she loathes the place and desperately yearns to escape it. "Take all the varying hates felt by Eustacia Vye towards the heath, and translate them into loves, and you have the heart of Clym." Surely, nothing good could possible come out of the union of such opposed individuals, who had false expectations from each other. ...read more.

Conclusion

I would argue this is not so; it may be true that the title of heroine evolves around Clym and Eustacia, being very difficult to precise which of the two best fits the role, however in my opinion, I'd say this is up to readers to determine and does not take away the fact that this is, most certainly and without a doubt, a tragedy, as most other factors comply with the exigencies of the genre. Regardless of Hardy's efforts to maintain unities of place, time and other tragedy conventions; the way the plot develops with a sense of foreboding in the novel's consequences, convert this book into a classic of the genre. The relentless mood and development, the numerous lucky (or unlucky) coincidences that are later to determine the future of the characters and the way people continually strive to change the way things are, combine the prefect ingredients of a tragedy. As often in Greek tragedies, fate plays an essential role and the people in the novel can't escape it because it would only keep coming back. Chance seems to dictate the destiny of the characters, playing around with their lives as if they were mere pieces on a chess board. The forces of the heath seem to inflict some sort of control on the characters, fulfilling the Greek tragedy convention of gods playing around with humans' lives. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Thomas Hardy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Thomas Hardy essays

  1. "You could get people wrong," Sandra realises in 'The Darkness Out There'. Assess how ...

    This is to prevent too many connections being made with such a timid creature before finding out what she is really like. Only when Lively allows Mrs Rutter to speak for herself fully in the second half does her true character show.

  2. On The Western Circuit by Thomas Hardy

    The letters written by Edith under the pseudonym of Anna give Raye an added burden to live with; he married someone who he did not love. The confusion between the writer of the letters and the recipient of the letters is underlining Hardy's own confused state of mind.

  1. What are Hardy's intentions in his presentation of Eustacia Vye chapters 1-7? How successful ...

    Eustacia is so desperate to leave Egdon, so when she hears Clym is coming from Paris, the vortex of the fashion world she falls half in 'love with a vision'. Although she does not know him she is so obsessed with the outside world she feels her time is running out.

  2. How The Mayor of Casterbridge reflects the social, historical and cultural influences of the ...

    There are many references to costume in the story. The first is of Henchard as a young man of 21 whose profession and life was on the road, looking for work as a hay trusser: "He wore a short jacket of brown corduroy, newer than the remainder of his suit, which was a fustian waistcoat ...

  1. The attitudes and beliefs which influence the outcome of the story 'The Withered Arm' ...

    showing her class status by not caring about the young boy being hanged. It may not be selfishness but sheer desperation to be loved again. Today many of the issues written in this book are still around however the way the community reacts to them is very different.

  2. Return of the Native - Notes.

    Age is related to traditional events. When Christian is asked how old he is, he replies "Thirty-one last tatic-digging" (potato digging). The best instance of superstition is also visible in the character and actions of Christian. Fairway, a man the others respect, assures him solemnly that since there was no moon on the night Christian was born, he would be "no man": "Yes.

  1. The return of the native by Thomas hardy - review

    It is quiet, somber, and tragic by nature, and it seems to increase the gloominess of both day and night. It is also obscure and mysterious and sometimes hostile. The people on the heath live and work on the heath even though it is overgrown, obsolete, obsure and mysterious.

  2. A comparison of 'Old Mrs Chundle' by Thomas Hardy and 'A Visit Of Charity' ...

    face from the ear trumpet, such a unpleasant incident as could be expected from an elderly person, is outside of the curate's ideal world. He is disheartened and discouraged easily when faced with a setback. He immediately plans to back out of helping Mrs Chundle, preferably without telling her.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work