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What kind of a woman does Hardy describe Eustacia as being?

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Introduction

What kind of a woman does Hardy describe Eustacia as being? You should consider: * Where you would picture Eustacia as being, her native place * Character descriptions * The way Hardy describes her in contrast to other characters Eustacia Vye is a character within Thomas Hardy's book, "Return of the Native", who seems to be set apart from all the other characters. By this, I mean that Hardy describes her as unique and different from all other characters. The chapter devoted to Eustacia starts with a perfect description of her to reflect the way I think Hardy wanted her to be portrayed to the reader. "Eustacia Vye was the raw material of divinity." This opening line immediately draws the reader into the illusion of mystery surrounding Eustacia's character. We realise that she is not like the other characters in the book, and this is shown by Hardy's references to her as a "model goddess". This gives the reader the impression she is set apart from this world, with a status above every other character else in the book. I think Hardy describes Eustacia in this way to create this higher standing and instantly make the reader feel there is something unusual about Eustacia. ...read more.

Middle

This draws attention to her wild and hot-blooded nature within the novel. It is also as though she is on edge and her temper can flare up quite irrationally. Hardy describes Eustacia's eyes and lips frequently, which creates an image of great beauty and a desirable object in the readers' eyes. She is portrayed as a temptress with her lips "formed in geometric precision" and the corners of her mouth being "as clearly cut as the point of a spear". I think not only does this create a temptress imagery of Eustacia, but perhaps suggests that she can be a bit harsh in her speech. Also, it creates a definite perfection, without fault. The sharp form of her lips is only ruined by her "sudden fits of gloom", suggesting that Eustacia is not content with life and her situation, as the chapter goes on to explain. To Eustacia, "Egdon was her Hades". Her family and the reason for her being uprooted from Budmouth, which she loves, to Egdon, which she hates are revealed. "She felt like one banished" as though Egdon was a place she was taken to as punishment. Although it seems she hates the heath, I think she does fit it with its wild and unpredictable nature. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eustacia seems to expect a lot from life, much more than the other characters in the book. She envisions herself as being in a different place, living a different lifestyle because she is above the other characters in the book. Hardy puts her on a pedestal with this image of perfection. However, this sets up expectations to the reader that this perfection may be ruined or is doomed. Hardy generally describes Eustacia's overall nature, moods and appearance. This differs from descriptions of other characters in the book, which introduce more about the personality of the character. This perhaps reflects the ideas of women at the time it was written, or perhaps the view Hardy wants of Eustacia to be seen as by the reader. He shows her to be a desired object, angelic, but weak also, with feeble elements particularly in her moods and emotions. I think Eustacia would fit-in in a place that is full of life, conversation and vigour. She desires a place where is romance and passion are parts of her life. Hardy makes her seem to be fragile, but with a fiery persona and a high status, above everyone else in and around the Heath. She is immediately seen to be different and almost rebellious to the reader because of Hardy's wild and distinctive descriptions of her. Sarah Moore 12J ...read more.

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