Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Return of the Native: Book First


The Return of the Native (1878) - Thomas Hardy
Map of Egdon Heath

The Three Women

The Setting or the Main Character
            Enter Edgon Heath, the setting, though often times may appear as the main character.  I cannot decide if he is lonely, depressed, wicked, beautiful, or powerful.

A Lucky Convenience
            Early on we meet a traveling reddleman, Diggory Venn, a decent young man, giving a ride to an exhausted Thomasin Yeobright back to her aunt, Mrs. Yeobright, after her marriage to Damon Wildeve fell through over a technical difficulty.  Or was it just a lucky convenience because later that evening, Damon meets up with the restless Eustacia, who reluctantly lives on the Heath with her grandfather since both of her parent’s have died. They meet in secret, or so they think.

The Mission
            Word gets back to Diggory that Damon did not marry Thomasin because he “loves [Eustacia] best,” and Diggory investigates for himself to discover if it is true by hiding out during another secret meeting between the two lovers.  The truth is, Diggory loves Thomasin, and two years ago proposed to her, though she had declined. 
            Now Diggory boldly confronts Eustacia and offers her a way out of the Heath, and though she is enticed, she rejects the offer because it seems to involve some work on her part.  And as Diggory is on a mission, he even speaks to Ms. Yeobright about resurrecting his old proposal to Thomasin if Mrs. Yeobright would approve and encourage Thomasin to accept him.  

Isn't it Ironic
            This idea, in effect, causes Mrs. Yeobright to discuss with Damon the possibility of him giving up Thomasin and promising not to interfere later.  This he asks for some time to consider, as he must first visit Eustacia to see if she is still interested in leaving the Heath with him, as she was the first time he suggested it.   
            Though is it not ironic, now that Thomasin may be out of the picture, that it is no longer urgent for Eustacia to have Damon love her best anymore?  And what perfect timing because Clym Yeobright is about to enter the Heath straight from Paris.
           

4 comments:

  1. I am glad you finished it! You are so inspiring.

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    1. Thanks, Tori!!! Actually, this is only the First Book, so to speak. There are six books or parts.

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  2. Yay....you are continuing this book! So, how is it now after you re-read it with a new point of view?

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    1. Yes, I'm so glad I went back. It was still somewhat frustrating for me, but now that I am getting into the plot, I am anxious to continue on.

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