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Heroes And Villians In Return Of The Native

            Many of the characters in The Return of the Native are deeply flawed, and exhibit many ambiguous motivations. However, sifting through their tragic mishaps, mistakes, misfortunes and stupidity, one can find that each character does have some trace of a distinct character type. The sympathetic character in the novel is Clym Yeobright, Damon Wildeve is the villain, and Diggory Venn and Eustacia Vye can both be considered the heroes in the novel, depending on who you talk to. One may proclaim Diggory to be a more worthy hero, citing his ability to always save Thomasin from too much trouble and his undying love to her. However, another might also say that Eustacia is the type of character in which most people can relate to, and is the most dramatic and well-written about character. She is the perfect example of the failure of humans to overcome what they were given, and she can be seen as a heroine for her persistence to escape it.
             Well-meaning, intelligent in certain ways, Clym Yeobright is not suited to life in the real world of his day. He dislikes city life as "effeminate," but when he returns to Egdon, no one understands his ambition to teach school. His ideas come from books rather than from direct experience with people. Unfortunately, he does not really know himself, either. He thinks he is rational and controlled; but love for Eustacia causes him to act rashly. He thinks he is morally right; but this leads him to be cruel to others, whom he believes to be in the wrong. Clym is too sensitive. His constant thinking almost seems to weaken him physically; his studying literally makes him an invalid for a while. His high ideas are not very practical. In day-to-day experiences with other people, he often has little or no idea what they want, or what they are thinking. Yet this does not make him ridiculous. We have to respect him because he is struggling to find the truth of life. Though he is sometimes obtuse, he is never thoughtless.

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