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

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

Extracts from this document...


Compare how the natural world is used symbolically by Thomas Hardy and Emily Bronte in The Return of the Native and Wuthering Heights Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights both concern themselves with the relationship man has to Nature and the extent to which it influences on the personality and the lives of those that live within the countryside. In both novels there is the sense of Nature as having a distinct character: as providing not only a backdrop to the narrative but also having a manlike personality. However, the two authors deal with this in remarkably different ways. In this essay I will examine and contrast the ways in which Hardy and Bronte picture Nature and the place it has within their work. The Return of the Native is a novel that, from its opening passages, is concerned not only with the subject of Nature but also the relationship man has with it: "The face of the heath by its mere complexion added half an hour to an evening; it could in like manner retard the dawn, sadden noon, anticipate the frowning of the storms scarcely generated..." ...read more.


But she does not know how, by what means, so romantic imagination: Paris and the beau monde." (Lawrence) Hardy, then, sees Nature as being both aggressive and caring to humankind; it can be the cause of great isolation of the spirit and also weakness, but also provides a livelihood and a place of safety. The workers on the farm or Diggery Venn, for instance, become literally a part of its surface but Eustacia, never completely a part of it, continuously fights against Nature instead of being guided by it and is thus eventually killed. In Wuthering Heights there is a much less hesitant use of Nature and the vast honesty of the moors. However, unlike Hardy, the spirit of Nature becomes a much more psychological presence, providing an almost constant sense of destiny and bleakness that matches the personal speeches of the characters themselves. As in The Return of the Native, however, the eternal nature of the moors is hinted at, as the story is told the heath remains strangely constant even though the seasons alter and change around it: "In winter the frost is always there before it comes to us; and deep into summer I have found snow under that black hollow on the north-east side." ...read more.


In both books Nature can be seen as one of the major characters, Egdon Heath and the moors on which Wuthering Heights stands both change and remain constant, both are eternal and both provide a backdrop to the dramas that are played out in front of them. In Hardy, to an extent, Nature can be seen as representing the community, it enables farm workers to survive, it allows there to be hops for the wedding feast, kindling for fires for Guy Fawkes night or for lovers to signal to each other, in Wuthering Heights the misery of the moors separates and isolates, it keeps people apart, the snow and the mud, as in the extract above concerning Lockwood, restrain restricts gathering and community and the mist and drizzle provides a reflection of the confusion and pointlessness of a life spent mourning upon the dead. Ultimately, both books represent, perhaps, not only the absurd and differing views of their respective authors but also of the wider society. Together they give us a picture of not only the views of Nineteenth Century minds towards Nature but they ways that they were collectively linked to it, a situation that has inevitably changed in an age that has become more and more removed from Nature and the ways it affects our 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 GCSE Emily Bronte 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 GCSE Emily Bronte essays

  1. How does Bronte use natural setting and imagery in ‘Wuthering Heights’?

    Catherine Earnshaw is the most prominent example of this. Her attitude to love and also both men concerned is reflected in natural imagery. '[Edgar]Linton is like the foliage in the woods...my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath.' Firstly, the reader can learn of her attitude toward Edgar.

  2. Trace the theme of madness and supernatural in Emily Bront->'s "Wuthering Heights".

    Since he cannot rest without her, he wants her ghost to haunt him until he dies. Unlike Linton, who is sorrowful but accepting of his wife's death, Heathcliff selfishly hopes that Catherine will have no peace without him. Chapter 17 also has another supernatural occurrence.

  1. Wuthering Heights English Coursework: How does Bronte convey a sense of Heathcliffs character? - ...

    Cathy's opinion of Heathcliff is important so that we can form a rounded judgement of Heathcliff's character. When she is discussing her relationships with Nelly, by what Cathy says and how she says it, it is obvious she is besotted by Heathcliff.

  2. Show how Cathy's desire for social status changes her personality throughout her life and ...

    lived in the Yorkshire moors like her characters in 'wuthering heights', Cathy wants a high social position and her attitude to the Heights and the moors suggest that she should never have become part of the civilised world. In the 19th century not many women wrote novels as men were

  1. Wuthering Heights

    This weakness reminds him of the Linton. This is another thing that Heathcliff despises. And finally, as Heathcliff blames the Linton's for Catherine's death, he blames Linton for Catherine's death. Heathcliff hates his son too much to attempt to be kind. Heathcliff starts to emotionally blackmail Cathy in chapter 8.

  2. Comparing the narrative techniques used in 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Your Shoes'

    Catherine and Heathcliff dislike her they tell her a lot of personal things. Throughout the book she builds up strong relationships with many of the characters so they can talk to her and we learn of their inside feelings which may not be shown physically.

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bront:

    Traitor is quite an intense word, especially for someone who has been nothing but faithful. Calling Nelly a "hidden enemy" also seems rash, since the word "enemy" is quite wicked. One of the worst names that Catherine calls Nelly is a "witch".

  2. How does Emily Bronte intend for the reader to respond to the character if ...

    a husband," she would like to marry Heathcliff "not because he's handsome, but because he's more myself than I am." Catherine knows that she loves Heathcliff deep down and that they are the same and they experienced many things together.

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