Mood Essay Return Of The Native Essay

This essay has a total of 1025 words and 4 pages.

Mood Essay 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, having now learned to come to grips with the ambiguity of the image. He is
also creating an atmosphere of mystery, of a silence that envelops the heath and the
reader. Also Hardy creates a strange mood, he seems to be playing with immortality and an
unchanging power when describing the scene. "The sea changed, the fields changed, the
rivers, the villages, and the people changed, yet Egdon remained". Throughout the whole of
the first chapter, Hardy is creating a strong sense of place as well as establishing
clearly the mood and atmosphere of Egdon Heath.

Further on, although still at the beginning of the book, Hardy introduces the heath
people. In this introduction, the various characters that will be important throughout the
story appear the simplicity of their personalities being focused on by the author. It is
at this first gathering round the fires that people are explored in depth, as before this
incident, it is the heath that has taken the central position and therefore has had all of
Hardy's attention. The near complete darkness does not allow the reader to learn about the
features of the people yet a clear understanding of the way they live, their customs and
the place around them is achieved. Hardy uses these fires as a symbol, not only in this
scene, but also in other chapters throughout the book. In this case, the fires are simple
instruments of celebration yet they lead in to the core of the story. To describe the
impact of the fire, Hardy uses rich images, to create both mood and atmosphere; "those
whom Nature had depicted as merely quaint became grotesque, the grotesque became
preternatural; for all was in extremity." To describe the fire itself he uses the
expression "the nimble flames towered, nodded, and swooped through the surrounding air".
The beauty of this image again leads the reader to feel that Hardy has created perfectly a
sense of place, as well as exploiting the scenery to cause mood and atmosphere.
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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