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Compare how the natural world is used symbolically by Hardy and Bronte in The Return of the Native and Wuthering Heights.

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Introduction

Compare how the natural world is used symbolically by Hardy and Bronte in The Return of the Native and Wuthering Heights. Compare how the natural world is used symbolically by Hardy and Bronte in 'The Return of the Native' and 'Wuthering Heights'. The natural world is central to both 'The Return of the Native' and 'Wuthering Heights'. The natural world encompasses that which is not manmade and is part of the natural environment. It also concerns natural occurrences like the weather and natural disasters. Other examples of the natural world are the animal kingdom, landscapes, seasons, vegetation, and even the nature of man. Life is a natural process; therefore emotions and human conduct are part of the nature of man. Both novelists use natural imagery to emphasise the nature of man through their characters and their ways. Also the natural world is used symbolically e.g. the Heath symbolises human nature. Other natural images might be used as symbolic warnings e.g. the pool at Shadwell Weir. The novelists use natural imagery in a similar way, even though 'Wuthering Heights' was published in 1847 and 'The Return of the Native' was published thirty-one years later in 1878. Even though Bronte uses more animal imagery and Hardy uses more natural description, it still provides a wide variety of comparisons to be made between the two novels. ...read more.

Middle

The Heath calms his feelings and fills him with joy. That's why he sings "Le point du jour A nos bosquets rend toute leur parure;" while he happily works. Different birds describe Thomasin; "all similes and allegories concerning her began and ended with birds." Her movement is like a "swallow", graceful and agile. The imagery of the birds is symbolic of her gentleness and innocence. And this shines through when she protects her baby girl from the rain. Birds are usually used to symbolise fragility and innocent beauty. Venn is described using bird imagery, but he is described by "a bird of prey". This symbolises that Venn is watchful and keen. He will destroy or hinder any enemy. This can be seen in Venn's "old track of manoeuvring on Thomasin's behalf" by hindering Wildeve in his nightly visits to Eustacia. As seen above Hardy and Bronte both use bird imagery to describe their characters. And to show the way there personalities work together in the novels. In both novels there are several relationships. Some are friends while others are lovers. Hardy and Bronte use natural images and occurrences to symbolise the nature of the relationships. In "Wuthering Heights" there are several unnatural relationships. Even though Catherine confesses that "I am Heathcliff ", and she knows that "whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same" she tills chooses to marry Linton. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a similarity between her own "storm-broken and exhausted state" and that of the "splintered, looped and distorted trees". The "perpetual moan" of the trees could be symbolic of the wails and moans that will rack Clym's body after her death. On the night that Eustacia tries to escape the heath, which has been a "cruel task master" to her, there is a terrible storm. The "driving rain" and overwhelming darkness emphasises both Eustacia's and Wildeve's end. In trying to escape the heath, they were swallowed up by its boundaries. Their Fate was interlinked with the heath and therefore they were swallowed up by "roaring" weir. The "velocity of the current" is symbolic of the strength of nature, and the hold it can have over man. The fact that Venn and Clym, who both have accepted the heath, survives the "froth of the waves" and "the strength of the stream", might be symbolic of the idea that if humans work with nature it will help them. The novels written by Hardy and Bronte are filled with natural images, the ideas of the novelists concerning Fate and Destiny is seen through their writing. Hardy's fascination with mythology and history is seen through his descriptions and Bronte's interest in the natural world is noted in Wuthering Heights. Both novelists love for nature is perceived. Hardy's love for Wessex country and Bronte's passion for the Yorkshire moors is seen through their respective novels, 'The Return of the Native' and 'Wuthering Heights'. ...read more.

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