Thomas Hardy and Landscape

I am re-reading several old classics which have not disturbed my thoughts for many years. I am finding them fresh and full in their
writing. RETURN OF THE NATIVE by Thomas Hardy delights me presently.
When I first read this novel I was in highschool, bored with my life and longing to fly my circumstances. Much like Eustacia Vye in the story. I was envious of her understanding that life was out there somewhere, not where she lived. Now I am rather appalled to see how cold-blooded her vision was. Unlike Eustacia I did escape my circumstances, but I also found more problems.
Hardy makes brilliant use of landscape in his story. The Heath seems almost fatalistic in both its beauty and its hold on people.
Landscape counts deeply in the story. Without landscape the characters could be existential. I think of the inexorable hold the
Heath has. Characters are like butterflies with pins through them,
holding them from flight. And it is true even today that some cannot seem to venture far from their front door.
But it is the beauty with which Hardy spins his spider web to trap and hold and then consume. Thomas Hardy was not a happy man,
but he admired the four walls of his earthly prison even while understanding how they bound him.


About christineemmert

Words have been part of my life. First the spoken word in my time as an actress and increasingly the written word in my shift to writer. I write across the genres, but mostly as a playwright and poet. My interest as my life extends is in the realm of tethering myth to the mundane reality where I live. In this vein I have expanded into stories and novels. Presently I look at how myths taken from past cultures can affect us today. Hence my novella of Lilith which is out on Kindle . I live in the Eastern Woodlands where I try to incorporate nature into my many writing projects. We are so in danger of losing that link to our very planet!
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