Some Important Scenes in The Return of The Native

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Hardy's Description of Egdon Heath

      Hardy is at his best when he is describing Nature. He is famous for his description of Nature in the opening chapter. Hardy gives much importance and in four pages of sustained eloquence the author conveys to us an impression of the black, inhospitable moorland as far as eye can reach beneath the gathering winter twilight "the harsh heath unaltered in the memory of the human race". Hardy says "It was a spot which returned upon the memory of those who loved it with an aspect of peculiar and kindly congruity. Smiling champaigns of flowers and fruits hardly do this, for they are permanently harmonious only with an existence of better reputation as to its issues than the present. Twilight combined with the scenery of Egdon Heath to evolve a thing majestic without severity, impressive without showiness, emphatic in its admonitions, grand in its simplicity."

Clym's Quarrel with His Mother

      Mrs. Yeobright strongly opposes Clym's plan to marry Eustacia. She is also against his plans to give up his job in Paris and Settle down in Egdon as a school-teacher. She is a highly practical-minded lady who is so much concerned about his future. She falsely believes that it is Clym’s infatuation which compels him to take the decision to stay in Egdon. She says to Clym: "I can understand objections to the diamond trade - I really was thinking that it might be inadequate to the life of a man like you, even though it might have made you a millionaire. But now I see how mistaken you are about this girl. I doubt if you can correct other things"

      Commenting on Eustacia, she says, "Is it best for you to injure your prospects for such a voluptuous, idle woman as that? Don't you see that by the very fact of your choosing her you prove that you do not know what is best for you?" However, Clym thinks the other way. He says that his mother's analysis is not true. He is fed up with his mother's nagging. In a mixture of entreaty and command, he says, "I won't hear it. I may be led to answer you in a way which we shall both regret." This scene shows Mrs. Yeobright's responsibility and maternal solicitude. It also shows her firmness, bluntness and sternness. Clym's strength of purpose an unflinching determination is also revealed in this scene.

The Game of Dice

      Another important scene in this novel is the game of dice played between Christian Cantle and Wildeve, and then between Wildeve and Diggory Venn. After winning a prize at the raffle, Christian Cantle feels encouraged to play a game of dice with Wildeve. Wildeve too encourages him by telling some stories to him on great winners. Christian Cantle, too excited by the stories, begins to play and eventually loses his hundred guineas, belonging to Thomasin and Clym. Christian leaves the spot groaning and Diggory 'Venn makes a sudden appearance from behind the bushes, and asks Wildeve to have a bout with him. Eventually it is Wildeve's turn to lose. When sixty of the hundred guineas have passed into the hands of Diggory Venn, Wildeve feels furious. He throws the box into darkness, uttering a fearful imprecation. However, the dice is recovered and the game resumes, and Wildeve loses all the money.

The Quarrel between Mrs. Yeobright and Eustacia

      Mrs. Yeobright asks Eustacia whether she has received any money from Wildeve. Though she asks innocently, Eustacia thinks that Mrs. Yeobright is accusing her of having relations with Wildeve. This resulted in a quarrel between the two. Both the women lose their tempers and feel more hostile than before. Before leaving Mrs. Yeobright in her extreme fury warns her that if she shows any such temper against Clym, she will have to pay because "you will find that though he is as gentle as a child with you now, he can be as hard as steel."

Death of Mrs. Yeobright

      The death scene of Mrs. Yeobright is deeply moving. She returns back with a broken heart at the thought that her son and daughter-in-law have deliberately closed the door to her. On her way an adder bites her. Exhausted by feelings of dejection, she sits down, almost fainting with fatigue. Clym arrives at the spot but he can do nothing but to watch his mother dying. His grief becomes indescribable because of the guilt. The narration attains some tragic quality.

The Quarrel between Clym and Eustacia

      The quarrel between Eustacia and Clym is one of the dramatic scenes in the story. Clym comes to know that it is Eustacia who is indirectly responsible for his mother's death. When he accused her with contempt, her pride cannot bear it and she leaves Clym and goes to his grandfather's house, sobbing and saying that his cruelty towards her is of a savage kind.

The Deaths of Eustacia and Wildeve

      The final tragedy in The Return of the Native occurs by the deaths of Eustacia and Wildeve. Eustacia jumps into the water, overcoming her dark thoughts. To save her both Wildeve and Clym jump but it is Venn who saves Clym, fishes, out the bodies of Eustacia and Wildeve. The words spoken by Clym brings more tragic effect. Full of grief he says, "she is the second woman I have killed this year. I was a great cause of my mother's death; and I am the chief cause of hers. I spoke cruel words to her, and she left my house. I did not invite her back till it was too late. It is I who ought to have owned myself. Those who ought to have lived lie dead; and here am I alive."

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