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"Return of the Native" as a Tragic Novel

In: English and Literature

Submitted By faixa
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“The Return of Native” as a tragic novel
Aristotle’s concept of tragedy states that it is the enactment of an action that is complete in itself. It should sway the readers or audiences with pity or fear in the end. To keep it in mind, “The Return of Native” can be coined as a village tragic novel which brings us into contact with ordinary people. Hardy is able to create genuine tragedy out of the inter-relationships between characters and the background of Egdon Heath. The protagonist (Eustacia) of the novel because of her passionate nature and ungovernable longings for fashion life resulted in her tragedy. Some of the heath folks think she is a witch. The death of her whether it is accidental or a case of suicidal, is highly pitiful.
Many of the people think that she is the real tragic heroin of the novel. But if we compare her with Clym, we will come to know that he is the real tragic hero. The very title of the novel tells about his return from Paris to Egdon Heath. He is quite an emotional sort of person reluctant to reality of situations. He is actually a person who could not understand the thinking of folks of Heath as those people only longs for money not intellectual development. His unpractical idealism is the cause of his downfall (hamartia).
The novel also holds some supernatural or gothic element in it which suggests that it belongs to the category of tragedy. Redman is the symbol of gothic element. Hardy has magnificently woven a tapestry of tragedy with the threads of fate, providences and tragic flaws.
These three elements have proved that “End justifies means” throughout the novel. Clym is seen to be regretting after the death of his mother through his words, which directly strikes the heart of the readers to vote him as the beautiful tragic character in the novel. When Eustacia tries to distract his mind out of the mourning state (due to death…...

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