Thomas Hardy'S The Return Of The Native
The Return of the Native
In Thomas Hardys The Return of the Native, the characters are responsible for their own decisions and actions. Eustacia, Wildeve, and Mrs. Yeobright all make choices that lead to the destruction of themselves and others. It is their influence, not the heaths, that eventually leads them to their graves.
From the beginning Mrs. Yeobright is unhappy with the way things are, and is never happy throughout the entire novel. She is unhappy that Thomasin is going to marry Wildeve. She thinks that it’s a step down in class than someone she should be marrying.
The tension between her and her son is immediate when she is irritated that Clym is planning to stay on the heath. She had hoped that Clym and Thomasin would be married, but he ends up marrying Eustacia to her disapproval. Then she’s absolutely had it when Eustacia won’t let her in and she can’t see Clym. She runs off into the hot heath and eventually succumbs to heat, and adder bite, and a “broken heart”.
Wildeve’s ever love for Eustacia is what leads to his death. He had always loved Eustacia. He plans to marry Thomasin, but when they go to get married he “forgets” the marriage license. He eventually marries Thomasin, but continues to have an affair with Eustacia at the same time. He could not resist his passion for her, and their secret love is what indirectly causes the death of Mrs. Yeobright.
The main woman behind this tragedy is Eustacia Vye. Her altering loves eventually links to all three of their deaths. She first is having a secret relationship with Wildeve, but when Clym comes back from Pairs, her dreams of one day going to Paris are possibly in sight. So she goes after Clym. She marries him, but soon realizes that Clym is never going back to Paris, so she goes back to Wildeve.
Their deaths all fall back on each other’s decisions. Because Eustacia and Wildeve were having an affair, Mrs. Yeobright is turned away at Clym’s home. Her hate of Eustacia, hot-temperedness, and self-pity all lead her to wander across the scalding heath and to her death. Because of Mrs. Yeobrights death, Clyms anger with Eustacia depresses her pass her breaking point. She knows that she is going to be stuck in Egdon Heath for the rest of her life and that because of the accidental affects of her affair with Wildeve, her husband doesn’t love anymore and he doesn’t want to see her again. This leads to her not caring if she lives or dies, and she ends up drowning in the river. Wildeve is so broken up by this he can’t live without her and dies in the river once her hears what happened to her. The heath is what killed them physically, but because they were living in their own worlds, when one world came down it brought the others down with it. Their choices, their deaths.