Symbolism In Return Of The Native
"A face on with time makes but little impression, that is what Thomas Hardy starts off the book as the title of the first chapter depicting Egdon Heath, the major symbol in the book. Although there are many interpretations of what the heath symbolizes, one the most prominent reasons is that it is a symbol of fate.
The person whom is victimized is most by fate is Eustacia Vye. She is the character who tries so hard to leave the tiresome Egdon Heath, but is never able too. She tries very hard to set herself up with the right guy who will help her leave the place which she despises the most. Eustacia craved the glamour and intensity of a fast life that is not found on Egdon Heath. She first goes after Wildeve, with whom she has had a secret affair with for quite some time. Eustacia proposes that they should leave together, but after some thought, Wildeve decides to marry Thomasin. Then Clym returns home from Paris after working there as a diamond merchant. Clym is expressed his plans of settling down on the heath and becoming a school teacher, and Eustacia still marries him, hopping he will change his mind. After a while, there marriage becomes sour when Clym, losing his eyesight, begins work as a furze cutter on the heath. Eustacia believes this to be the lowest of jobs, unworthy of Clym's intelligence. They argue, and Eustacia goes to Wildeve to express her feelings. They both decide to leave the heath together, leaving everything behind. Just before they are about too leave, Clym attempts to reconcile their marriage by writing Eustacia a letter. He gave it to Captain Vye who attempts to deliver it to his granddaughter, but he finds her room dark and supposes she is asleep. In truth, she has already left to meet Wildeve. Fate, therefore, keeps Eustacia from receiving her husband's letter asking her to return, and her fate is death on the heath which she has tried to escape so many times.