Egdon Heath As An Example Of Fate.

1073 words - 4 pages

In Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native the setting is more than just a place, it’s practically a character. Egdon Heath, the area where the entire book takes place, controls the fate of all the people who live there. Freewill is not possible. The lives of everyone there are controlled by their destinies. If they try to change that the heath will show it’s wrath and make certain that the character either stays in line or is destroyed. Egdon Heath is an all-powerful being that controls everything that happens on it. Hardy, who followed the guidelines for a Greek tragedy, made Egdon Heath to represent the gods who controlled the destiny and fate of all the people on earth. Immortal and indestructible is the “face in which time makes little impression”; controller and ultimately “god” of the mortal humans who walk it’s face (Hardy 11).Simple, naïve, innocent people live on the heath; most do not question their lives of furze-cutting. It was the life they were born to, destined to. The majority does not mind their lives, but when someone knew there was a better life out there and strove for it, she felt the wrath of the heath. Eustacia never likes the heath. From the moment she arrives she feels the need to escape. Excitement is needed in her life and to obtain it she would do anything. Budmouth was her original home, an exciting port city, but then with her move to Egdon she immediately sees what a monotonous place the heath really is. To stir up some excitement, she adds men to her life. First she brings Wildeve into her life, a man who is destined to marry Thomasin. This man is not only exciting, but may prove to be a way out, but then destiny takes hold and the marriage of Thomasin and Wildeve occurs. Then when Clym returned home from the big city of Paris, Eustacia sees an even better route of escape; she quickly marries him and realizes there is no escape in the husband she has chosen. Fate controls her life; Egdon controls her destiny. This woman is never to leave the heath. The shotguns are taken away, her dreams of Paris stifled by an unwilling husband and lack of money, and at the end, when she is so close to escape, the heath took her. She is destined to stay on the heath, that is the life that was planned out for her. Egdon could not let her try to escape her fate. Because of her persistency to leave, the heath had to kill her. The fate of this poor woman had been determined; she had to stay, even if that meant dying on the heath.Destiny, controlled by the heath, did not only affect Eustacia’s life; all of the characters are captured in the heath’s inescapable grasp. Returning from Paris, Clym had plans to enlighten the people who lived among him at Egdon Heath. He wanted to try to raise the people of the heath up from just being ordinary, uneducated furze-cutters. The people on the heath are destined to stay as they are; Egdon Heath does not change, especially not because of the...

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