The Return of the Native Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of Creative Writing and Literature at Oakton Community College inIllinois. In the following essay, he examines how the timelessness of Egdon Heath actually helps support the plot's reliance on chance.

Upon delving into any number of essays focused on Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native, one is almost certain to come across a few important issues. The first issue is the character of the setting, Egdon Heath, which Hardy establishes in that long, lovely description in the first chapter and then comes back to throughout the book. More than most novels, even the bulk of Victorian romances, this book uses the setting as a character, a living presence, and not just as a buffer to linger over in between scenes. It seldom fails to impress. Critics who do not think much of Hardy's attributes as a novelist will usually point out, to soften...

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This section contains 1,884 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Return of the Native Study Guide
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The Return of the Native from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.