Return of the Native

The Other Eustacia

"Hardy summons into us a graphic dimension, and then, apparently without realizing the danger in doing so, he allows another Eustacia to enter his novel. This Eustacia emerges, through a consistent patter of speech and action as a creature unfit for the lonely peaks of tragedy." In his essay "The Other Eustacia," Robert Evans holds that through allusions to Greek tradition, Hardy sets the stage for a classical tragedy, but then disappoints his readers with a character more on the level of the average teenage rebel. Evans writes, "This then, is the other Eustacia, an emotionally unstable adolescent girl given to self pity and melancholy, basically cold and selfish." He supports his arguments with examples of Eustacia's behavior. She loves Clym as a source of momentary passion and fails to comfort him in his time of need because of her own self-pity. Additionally, Evans accuses Eustacia of "petulance and childishness" in her willingness to trample Thomasin Yeobright to achieve her own personal pleasure. Because Evans's analysis concludes that Eustacia's fall is the result of her own shortcomings as an immature romantic and melancholy adolescent, in his opinion The Return of the...

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