Essay on Mood, Atmosphere and Place in The Return of the Native

Essay on Mood, Atmosphere and Place in The Return of the Native

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Mood, Atmosphere and Place in The Return of the Native

 

 Throughout The Return of the Native, Thomas Hardy is very successful in creating mood and atmosphere.  Some scenes are so descriptive that a very clear mental picture can be formed by the reader, causing a distinct sense of place.  It seems that through his words, Hardy is submerging the readers into his story letting us take part only as an onlooker.  It is at the beginning that the strongest mood, the heaviest atmosphere and the most obvious sense of place occurs, as once the scene is set and the characters are introduced, scenery is much repeated.

             The book opens with an in-depth description of the heath.  This is a perfect example of Hardy's ability to clearly describe a scene, giving us a sense of place, situating us on the heath.  This heath, although seemingly merely the geographic location of the story, plays a very significant role.  The role and symbolism of the heath are truly explored through some of Hardy's statements.  "The heavens being spread with this pallid screen, the earth with the darkest vegetation, their meeting-line at the horizon was clearly marked".  This is highlighting the vivid contrast between the ground and the sky, leaving the reader with an image of the wild expanse of vegetation.  Hardy describes the nature of the heath with the words "It was at present a place perfectly accordant with man's nature - neither ghastly, hateful, nor ugly: neither... unmeaning, nor tame; but like man slighted and enduring...".  This is a description of the heath, which leaves the reader with a stronger sense of place, havi...


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...uld be seen as the weakest character, Thomasin, that achieves happiness. She is the only character that ends the story well, as with the death of Wildeve she is free to leave a Marriage where she was greatly unhappy and marry the reddleman.

             Hardy shows, throughout "The return of The Native", that he is successful in drawing up images inside the readers mind. He creates mood and atmosphere easily with a varied use of description and contradicting images. He gives the reader a sense of place, by which it seems that although they are there, and know what is going to happen, there is no way they can help the characters. The reader is left close enough to feel most of the action, yet are powerless to intervene. This shows Hardy to be very successful in creating mood, atmosphere and a sense of place.

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