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Essay on Eustacia Vie as the Heroine of Return of the Native

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There is no doubt that Eustacia Vie is the Heroine of the tragedy "Return of the Native". Without the majestic air that Miss Vie adds to the novel we are left with a typical period soap drama. Eustacia Vie is on more then one occasion compared to classical characters of Greek mythology, and even in her death the nobility of her figure evokes images of classical sculpture."Pallor did not include all the quality of her complexion, which seemed More the whiteness; it was almost light. The expression of her finely Curved mouth was pleasant, as if a sense of dignity had just compelled Her to leave off speaking."

 The almost Godly representation of the character juxtaposes the 'rebellious adolescent' image that is created by Eustacias' pathetic attempts at passion and love. This serves as a direct comparison between Eustacia and Egdon Heath. Just as the heath seems simple and unappealing but is full of  underlying Majesty, such is the character of the heroine only opposite; on the exterior, majestic and beautiful but on the inside a selfish plain teenager searching for an adventure. Eustacia Vie appears doomed almost from the moment she walks onto the stage of Egdon heath and Hardy uses classical allusions of Greek tragedy to force the audience to reflect upon the implications of her suffering. The heroine is labelled a witch by some of the heath dwellers on account of her power over men. Her dark form and figure and allusions to darkness in general support the superstitious accusations. Furthermore, her total selfishness could, at some points be defined as almost fiendish. Eustacia's character is intriguing because it is one which Confuses the audience; as much as they long to despise her, they are ultimately forced to ...


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...h, is slowly decaying and making way to the modern world of schools, businesses and culture. Eustacia who doesn’t realise how perfectly suited she is to the heath dies a tragic death. It is as if the modern society cut off the last connection that the heath had with people.  Hardy hints at the way evolution doesn’t allow for survival of minorities. This suggests that it is modern theories and the modern world that are moving people away from their roots and wild past, this will lead to unavoidable destruction. In my eyes, the point that Hardy is trying to make in this novel is that just as Eustacia vie, who is perfectly suited to the heath, tries to get away from her roots and is doomed to a tragic ending, such is society, which is trying to move away from its roots, trying to be as modern as possible, ultimately, society will be doomed to the same tragic ending.


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