Mood, Atmosphere and Place in The Return of the Native
Throughout The Return of the Native, Thomas Hardy is very successful in creating mood and atmosphere. Some scenes are so descriptive that a very clear mental picture can be formed by the reader, causing a distinct sense of place. It seems that through his words, Hardy is submerging the readers into his story letting us take part only as an onlooker. It is at the beginning that the strongest mood, the heaviest atmosphere and the most obvious sense of place occurs, as once the scene is set and the characters are introduced, scenery is much repeated.
The book opens with an
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Further on, although still at the beginning of the book, Hardy introduces the heath people. In this introduction, the various characters that will be important throughout the story appear the simplicity of their personalities being focused on by the author. It is at this first gathering round the fires that people are explored in depth, as before this incident, it is the heath that has taken the central position and therefore has had all of Hardy's attention. The near complete darkness does not allow the reader to learn about the features of the people yet a clear understanding of the way they live, their customs and the place around them is achieved. Hardy uses these fires as a symbol, not only in this scene, but also in other chapters throughout the book. In this case, the fires are simple instruments of celebration yet they lead in to the core of the story. To describe the impact of the