Thomas Hardy Writing Styles in The Return of the Native

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This novel is told from the third-person point of view, which means that the narrator is a disembodied voice, referring to each character as "he" or "she." However, the narrative is not omniscient. This means that the narrator looks at the story unfolding from different points of view, but when it settles on any particular viewpoint it stays consistent, if only for a short amount of time. When new information is introduced into the story, that information is initially understood only in terms of the narrator's point of view at the time.

For instance, when Wildeve first appears, readers are not told who he is; his character is revealed by what he says. Clym is a mystery for Eustacia to fantasize about long before his thoughts are related. In fact, even when they do talk outside of the Christmas party, the narrative shifts from her perspective...

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This section contains 905 words
(approx. 3 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.