You know how in a Dickens novel pretty much every thing works out happily in the end? Yeah, that doesn't happen here. Hardy followed up his "comedy in chapters" (The Hand of Ethelberta), where superficially or potentially tragic events turned out for the good, with "Return of the native", where everything that appears tragic is tragic and almost nothing ends well. What raises this to classic level is Hardy's unflinching (and daring for its time) realism … more
So Thomas Hardy is obsessed with stalling maidens who won't quite commit to marrying the bachelor charecters but string them along. In this book the stalling overlaps into a marriage with a guy who almost goes blind. The wife (named Bethsheba) starts thinking about running off to Paris with an old boyfriend to get away from her pathetic, blind husband and guilt about her mother in law. Does it sound corny? Its not. I bet feminists will think the … more
What's your opinion on Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy?