show the role and importance of Egdon Heath
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Egdon Heath as a character
Hardy is called the writer of Nature. His novels are abudent with nature. Nature plays an important role in all his novels. In this novel The Return of the Native, he has presented Egdon Heath as a living character. Egdon Heath is a village in which the whole incidents of the novel take place.
Different characters of the novel have different attitudes towards Egdon Heath. Thomasin is the daughter of it. She is a part and parcel of it. She like it like her mother. She seems a flower of Egdon Heath. She love it to the depth of her heart. We see that she is blessed all the time. When she is going to be married with a rascle like Demon Wildeve, it saves her from him. She becomes wife of a sincere person like Reddleman.
Eustacia is the daughter of seas. She likes beach like places. she is unfit for Egdon Heath. She hates it to the maximum. She wants to break away from it. But the situtation becomes ironical, the more she wants to go away from it, the more she has to live in it. She tries to go to Paris by marrying Clyme Yeobright but the circumstances change and she has to live here in a precarious state.She tries her level best to get rid of it but to no avail. In the end, she plans to escape with Demon Wildeve, but Egdon Heath kills her in its waters.
Demon Wildeve is also a restless figure. He seems unfit for such places. He is all the time in search of opportunities to go abraod. In the end, he plans to go away but he also drowns with Estacia.
Reddleman is a part of Egdon Heath. His work is related to pastorals like Egdon Heath. He sings, walks and enjoys every bit of life here. He is the true reflection of rural England. He is sincere, loyal and sympethetic toward Egdon Heath and its inhabitant. So we see he leads a happy life in the end of the novel.
Mrs. Yeobright is killed by an adder. In her case, Egdon Heath plays the role of a cruel. It also takes her son away from her. She spends the last few years of her life in agnoy. She sufferes from deep sorrows.
Clyme Yeobright is another victim of Egdon Heath. He returns from Paris and decides to open a school in Egdon Heath. But he fails due to his semi-blindedness. he becomes a wood-collector. His this position leads to a catastrophic end of Estacia's life. Estacia is an ambitious lady. She wants to enjoy the merriments of Paris but she is restricted to a wood-collector's wife.
Minors characters also play an important role in the plot of the novel. All these characters have positive or negitive attitude towards Egdon Heath.
To conclude, we can say that Hardy has presented Egdon Heath as a character that participates in the action of the story and supports those like it and takes revenge from those who dislike it.