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Thomas Hardy's the Return of the Native ((A Critical Analysis by Qaisar Iqbal Janjua)

Thomas Hardy's the Return of the Native ((A Critical Analysis by Qaisar Iqbal Janjua)



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Published by: Qaisar Iqbal Janjua on Jan 08, 2010
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ByQaisar Iqbal Janjua from Lahore, Pakistan. Contact (92) 300 8494678qaisarjanjua@hotmail, qaisarjanjua@gmail, qaisarjanjoa@yahoo.com
Thomas Hardy(1840-1928)
“As far as social ethics were concerned Eustaciaapproached the savage state, though in emotion shewas all the while an epicure. She had advanced tothe secret recesses of sensuousness, yet had hardlycrossed the threshold of conventionality.”
The Return of the Native
ByQaisar Iqbal Janjua from Lahore, Pakistan. Contact (92) 300 8494678qaisarjanjua@hotmail, qaisarjanjua@gmail, qaisarjanjoa@yahoo.com
Thomas Hardy was born June 2, 1840, in the village of Upper Bock Hampton, located in South-western England. His father was a stone masonand a violinist. His mother enjoyed reading and relating all the folk songsand legends of the region. Between his parents, Hardy gained all theinterests that would appear in his novels and his own life: his love forarchitecture and music, his interest in the lifestyles of the country folk, andhis passion for all sorts of literature.At the age of eight, Hardy began to attend Julia Martin’s school in Bock Hampton. However, most of his education came from the books he found inDorchester, the nearby town. He learned French, German, and Latin byteaching himself through these books. At sixteen, Hardy’s father apprenticedhis son to a local architect, John Hicks. Under Hicks’ tutelage, Hardylearned much about architectural drawing and restoring old houses andchurches. Hardy loved the apprenticeship because it allowed him to learn thehistories of the houses and the families that lived there. Despite his work,Hardy did not forget his academics: in the evenings, Hardy would study withthe Greek scholar Horace Moule.In 1862, Hardy was sent to London to work with the architect ArthurBloomfield. During his five years in London, Hardy immersed himself in thecultural scene by visiting the museums and theatres and studying classicliterature. He even began to write his own poetry. Although he did not stayin London, choosing to return to Dorchester as a church restorer, he took hisnewfound talent for writing to Dorchester as well.From 1867, Hardy wrote poetry and novels, though the first part of hiscareer was devoted to the novel. At first he published anonymously, butwhen people became interested in his works, he began to use his own name.Like Dickens, Hardy’s novels were published in serial forms in magazinesthat were popular in both England and America. His first popular novel wasUnder the Greenwood Tree, published in 1872. The next great novel, Farfrom the Madding Crowd (1874) was so popular that with the profits, Hardywas able to give up architecture and marry Emma Gifford. Other popularnovels followed in quick succession: The Return of the Native (1878), TheMayor of Casterbridge (1886), The Woodlanders (1887), Tess of theD'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). In addition to theselarger works, Hardy published three collections of short stories and fivesmaller novels, all moderately successful. However, despite the praise
ByQaisar Iqbal Janjua from Lahore, Pakistan. Contact (92) 300 8494678qaisarjanjua@hotmail, qaisarjanjua@gmail, qaisarjanjoa@yahoo.com
Hardy’s fiction received, many critics also found his works to be tooshocking, especially Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. Theoutcry against Jude was so great that Hardy decided to stop writing novelsand return to his first great love, poetry.Over the years, Hardy had divided his time between his home, MaxGate, in Dorchester and his lodgings in London. In his later years, heremained in Dorchester to focus completely on his poetry. In 1898, he sawhis dream of becoming a poet realized with the publication of WessexPoems. He then turned his attentions to an epic drama in verse, The Dynasts;it was finally completed in 1908. Before his death, he had written over 800poems, many of them published while he was in his eighties.By the last two decades of Hardy’s life, he had achieved fame as greatas Dickens' fame. In 1910, he was awarded the Order of Merit. New readershad also discovered his novels by the publication of the Wessex Editions, thedefinitive versions of all Hardy’s early works. As a result, Max Gate becamea literary shrine.Hardy also found happiness in his personal life. His first wife, Emma,died in 1912. Although their marriage had not been happy, Hardy grieved ather sudden death. In 1914, he married Florence Dugale, and she wasextremely devoted to him. After his death, Florence published Hardy’sautobiography in two parts under her own name.After a long and highly successful life, Thomas Hardy died on January11, 1928, at the age of 87. His ashes were buried in Poets’ Corner atWestminster Abbey.
 Thomas Hardy’s long literary career witnessed and encompassed themost important artistic and literary changes of the modern era. Hardy wasborn in 1840 near Dorcester, England; before his death in 1928 at the age of 87, the genre of the Victorian novel had flowered and faded, and theerstwhile avant-garde movement known as modernism dominated theEnglish literary landscape. In his ornate, wordy style and his sensitivity toissues of class, Hardy seemed a characteristic Victorian novelist. But hiswriting increasingly revealed a sensibility and a moral code that seemed todiscard the strict Victorian social and sexual mores, and that tended towardsatheism and subjective morality rather than an absolutist Christianity. Hisphilosophy was out of place in Victorian England, and presaged the comingsocial and cultural upheaval of modernism.

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