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The return of the native by Thomas hardy - review

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Introduction

The return of the native was written by Thomas hardy in 1878, the story is based on a place called Egdon heath. When hardy wrote the novel it was the time of Charles Darwin, he had written his book ;on the origin of the species' so this was a big influence on hardy's view of god and evolution, it was also the time of the Boer war (1899-1902). Hardy wrote the novel return of the native to portray how life was in nineteen-century Britain was. The characters that hardy wrote about were dominated by supersitions and religious influences just like he was in that time of his life. Hardy was very keen to set the book in a rural place so he chose Egdon heath which he described as being 'vast', 'unenclosed', 'wild' and 'mysterious', it was also referred to as being 'the home of strange phantoms': the people that lived in the heath (heath folk) believed that the heath could make bad things happen and if the people respected the heath then the heath would respect them, their beliefs were based upon stories and folklore, the heath folk feared the heath and its powers: Pg12 "civilisation was its enemy" In the novel hardy used personification to suggest the "the heath" had power over the heath folk and it looked down and watch the heath folk that live around the ...read more.

Middle

Heath Customs 3: Some children of the heath believe that reddlemen have connections to the devil. Johnny Nunsuch is no exception; he is scared of Diggory Venn and gives as much information as he can about Eustacia Vye before he can finally leave and feel safely out of the reddleman's reach. Heath Customs 4: Another heath custom is the Christmas mummers' play performed every year. Eustacia usually despises the Christmas mumming, as she does with every heath custom, but this year she is interested in it, once she hears that the first Christmas performance is at the Yeobrights'. That the mummers are masked completely means that Eustacia can scheme to find a way to perform as a mummer and spy on Clym. Heath Customs 5: Thomasin braids her hair in seven strands on her wedding day. She and the other heath-women braid their hair according to the importance of the day (the more important the day, the more strands in the braid). Heath Customs 6: The heath-men gather at Timothy Fairway's place for their weekly hair-cutting. The hair-cutting custom is another tradition that the heath-folk cherish and value. Heath Customs 7: Susan Nunsuch believes that Eustacia is bewitching her son. To exorcize the bad spirit of Eustacia, she sticks a needle in Eustacia's arm during church. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hardy also uses repetition to tighten the plot. Clym's hardness to his mother is repeated in his hardness to his wife. His procrastination in reconciling with Mrs. Yeobright is repeated in his procrastination to forgive Eustacia for a perceived infidelity to him and a perceived cruelty to his mother. As a result of his errant ways, Clym indirectly causes two deaths: first comes the death of Mrs. Yeobright, which is repeated in the death of Eustacia. Even in minor motifs, there is repetition in the plot. At the first of the book the bonfires are lighted on the fifth of November. Wildeve sees Eustacia's bonfire and reads it as a signal for him to come. At the end of the book, it is again the fifth of November and the bonfires are lighted. Once again, Clym sees a bonfire at the Vye household, and, assuming it is another signal from Eustacia, he comes running to her side. In a similar manner, the story begins in the darkness of night with Eustacia and Wildeve meeting out on the heath. The action of the story concludes in the darkness of night with Wildeve and Eustacia meeting, under very unfortunate circumstances, out on the heath. These repetitions are obviously a successful means of weaving the events of the plot closely together. In spite of the fact that Hardy wrote the novel in a series of scenes that could be easily serialized, he has masterfully pulled the story together to work as a whole. ...read more.

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