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Is Egdon Heath merely a backdrop to the novel or does it play a more important role in the Novel?

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Is Egdon Heath merely a backdrop to the novel or does it play a more important role in the Novel? Throughout the novel, the rugged and unforgiving terrain of the heath plays a pivotal role, in shaping the characters, the culture of the heath and the flow of the play. The heath also has its hand in crucial events in the play. The heath folk imagine they have civilized the terrain around them, but in reality the heath remains wild, with a character of its own that want to force the dwellers into submission. ...read more.


In the second Chapter, Diggory Venn and Captain Vye remain as anonymous characters and rise out of the Heath. Diggory Venn appears to be an incarnation of the Heath, but in covered in a red dye. As we read on we realise the mystery woman who was seen upon Rainbarrow in the second chapter, looking like " an organic part" of the great mound is in fact Eustacia Vye. She despises everything about the heath, but personifies it with her virtue of powerful emotions, wild passions, foreboding nature and her dark beauty. But even as we see the Heath as a physical object, but it is described as "inviolate, untouchable and unalterable by man," but it is still highly pliable, it becomes what the characters want to make it. ...read more.


Throughout the book the heath takes lives and interferes them, like a classical God. The heath shows it is a force to be reckoned with, a force that cannot be tamed by man. The heath appears to be the ultimate adversary to the characters, but to some it is a comfort. Hardy uses the heath as a vehicle for a number of Hardy's views on life. One of these is chance and coincidence; Hardy uses chance as a way of moving on the plot. He writes in meeting, which would be highly unlikely, so therefore he can influence events to suit a purpose. Many critics have criticised Hardy for this engineering but it is the only way hardy could allow the Novel to work. ...read more.

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