A Stylistic Analysis Of Hardy’s Characterisation in The Return Of The Native [INCOMPLETE Stylistics essay] | Narration | Narrative

Stylistics: First Assessed Essay

Candidate Module Title Module Tutor Question 316773 Stylistics Charles Owen Explore characterisation in an extract from any part of a novel of your choice by reference to the stylistic devices you have studied this semester. Limit the length of your extract to ten pages, but feel free to comment on how your extract relates to or is important to the rest of the work. A stylistic analysis of Hardy’s characterisation in The Return Of The Native

Title MHRA Citation 2904 Words

Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native December 2001

A Stylistic Analysis Of Hardy’s Characterisation in The Return Of The Native
Introduction
This essay will explore characterisation in an extract from The Return Of The Native (reproduced here as an appendix). It aims to validate literary critics’ more impressionistic and intuitive readings1, by using stylistic analysis to find precise evidence for three of their assertions. Namely that: • • • Hardy ties character strongly to setting. Eustacia Vye is simultaneously powerful and an outsider Eustacia is blighted by the disparity between appearance and reality.

Analysis will be based on four categories: processes & participants, cohesion, modality and attitude, and recording speech and thought (defined by Toolan 1998). To minimise the problems involved in treating an extract as suitably reflective of a 400 page whole, constant reference will be made to the rest of the text.

1 Hardy ties character strongly to nature/landscape. 1.1 The importance of setting
In The Return Of The Native character contributes to a definition of "setting" that incoporates nature, landscape and ‘local colour'2. At the beginning of the novel Eustacia is described on Rainbarrow as “an organic part of the entire motionless structure” (1985, 63). The extract's stylistic features supported this theme. The frequency of prepositional phrases as process adjuncts is high, 26 in all. The next evening . . .in the same spot . . . On Egdon. Some are unnecessary to character or plot. The phrase in the direction of Mrs Yeobright’s house at Bloom’s End (sentence 26) embeds a prepositional phrase in another prepositional phrase, reitering that Mrs Yeobright's House remains where it has been for the previous 180 pages. The narrator constantly enforces our sense of spatial and temporal relations. The interelation of cohesive lexical chains also ties locality to character:

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

One sub-chain of the lexical cohesion of Egdon is that of its wildlife and botany, in this extract the blades of grass (29), masses of furze and heath (30), the grass riband (31) etc. This sub-chain extends beyond description however, to Hardy’s main imagery for characterisation. There is only one example in this extract: “the fantastic figures of the mumming band whose plumes and ribbons rustled in their walk like autumn leaves” (27). But it is rife through the novel as a whole, in images such as when Eustacia “descended on the right hand side of the barrow, with the glide of a water drop down a bud” (???????, 63) or repeated descriptions of Thomasin as a bird. For Hardy, character is unavoidably tied to landscape. 1.2 The landscape as a character: pathetic fallacy As noted by countless critics, Hardy makes Egdon Heath “a place perfect accordant with man’s nature” (?????????, 56) by giving it human attributes. There are several explicit instances in the novel; heathbells perform verbal processes “it was the single person of something else speaking through each at once”.(106), young beeches undergo “amputations, bruises, cripplings and harsh lacerations” while “Each stem . . . moved like a bone in its socket” (268/9). Though straight quotation cannot convincingly demonstrate pathetic fallacy in this extract, it can be detected with stylistic analysis. Take the divided opinions of the heathfolk: senser West Egdon East Egdon mental process believed (believed) phenomenon in Blooms-End time in the time of the Quiet Woman inn

The senser in both these clauses is held to be the places themselves, not “the people of West Egdon”. This is unremarkable in itself - the use of this construction to describe an area’s public opinion is relatively common - but in the context of the novel subtly contributes to the sense of pathetic fallacy. More clearly, stylistic analysis supports the impression that the landscape is a nearhuman agent that, alongside fate, controls characters’ lives. The protagonists’ power over their own actions is minimised by the structure of sentence 31: (contentious element) mat.pro medium-t circ.

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

Half-an-hour of walking and talking in the valley where . . .

brought

them

to the spot

Why has Hardy used this material process, that provides uneccessary information about “walking and talking” when he could have used a simpler process such as They walked for half-an-hour to the spot in the valley where. . . or even They went to the spot in the valley where . . . ? This figurative use of “brought” has greater implications than merely adding variety to Hardy’s language. Grammatically, “Half-an-hour of walking and talking” is used as a noun phrase in the subject position of the clause, that would often contain a medium-initator or an agent. The importance of this reconfiguration lies in it placing “them”, the mummers, in the position of the affected element. “Half-an-hour-of walking and talking” is almost synonymous with circumstances in general, which have brought them to the location where dramatic events unfold. So this construction heightens the sense that the mummers are manipulated by forces outside their control. Eustacia’s closing scene contains a vivid image of the heath’s power over her; she falls “as if she were drawn into the Barrow by a hand from beneath”. (???? 420). That the heath is against her can be ascertained from the processes and participants of the extract. In relation to the heath she is dehumanized, described in terms of her disguise, the Turkish Night (sentence 72), and as body parts: Her boots being thinner than those the mummers carried, the hoar had dampened her feet and made them cold. The heath is one of the few, very specialized circumstances, that place Eustacia in the position of medium-target. The dark image of the heath is also exemplified in a lexical chain of types of darkness that frequently runs alongside the cohesive chain of heath vegetation:
Heath Vegetation the blades of grass seemed to move on with Darkness the shadows of those they surrounded (29) were dark as ever (30) darkened the greater portion [of the front of the house] (46)

The masses of furze and to the right and left heath a huge pyrocanth now

In sentence 29 Hardy succeeds in combining realism with the heightened symbolic power of the landscape by using subtle probability modality: “the shining facets of frost upon the blades of grass seemed to move on with the shadows of those they
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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

surrounded”. This could be paraphrased as It seemed possible that the shining facets of frost upon the blades of grass moved on with the shadows they surrounded. 1.3 The Personification Of The Moon As A Dramatic Device The heath’s opposite in the extract, the moon, also appears to be personified. For example: agent mat pro. circumstance the moon . . . threw a spirited and enticing brightness upon the fantastic figures of the mumming band (27) This clause fits Toolan’s categorisation most comfortably if the moon is regarded as an agent, as a human intentional actor who acts upon a given medium. The verb “throwing” is an intentional action, and one most commonly used in association with human beings. If the moon is not categorised as an agent the clause must contain two mediums, and as “a spirited and enticing brightness” is certainly the “done-to” element, the moon seems most sensibly categorised as a medium-iniator, another category that Toolan reserves for human initiators of a process. The element of this clause that is directly relevant to the plot, the position of the real human agents the mummers, is relegated to a circumstance, further enforcing the sense that Hardy’s interest lies in his depiction of scenery. For further evidence consider sentence 46: the front [of the house], upon which the moonbeams directly played. In this intransitive material process, the medium filling the subject position is certainly active, intending and dynamic. It is far more akin to a medium-iniator than a standard medium, so is definitely personification. The personified moon seems connected to Eustacia. Like her, it opposes the heath, attempting to bring brightness to it: “a mere half-moon was powerless to silver such sable features as [the furze and heath’s] (30)”. Hardy uses similarly energetic and positive evaluative adjectives and adverbs in descriptions of them both. The moonlight is spirited and enticing (27) while Eustacia is enterprising (45) and does things boldly (11) and decisively (21). The moon, implicitely, provides Eustacia with her dramatic energy. In the rest of the novel there are many references to her “pagan eyes” (118) and the heathfolk’s assumptions that she is a witch. 1.4 The purpose of the mummers as one element of “local colour” rather than psychologised characters representing “real” human beings The stylistic features of the extract define the mummers as a group rather than as individuals with distinct personalities. Their first dialogue (sentences 2-5) discusses their conflicting time systems, but the resultant effect is not one that stresses divergent
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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

opion but sameness, albeit a rather chaotic sameness. This is because each speaker follows an identical pattern: Carrier It It It Relational Attribute. Process is (ellipted) is (ellipted) wants ten minutes to (dialectic version of the verb to be) is five minutes past by Grandfer Cantle’s Watch Ten minutes past by Blooms-End Twenty minutes after eight Circumstance by the Quiet Woman

‘t

by the captain’s clock

These initial lines of direct speech are also dehumanising because there is no framing clause before or after each mummer speaks, obscuring individual identities. We can only identify “Here’s Charley at last! How late you be, Charley” (13) as a declaration by its grammatical markers; commas and exclamation marks. Which, or how many mummers made the statement seems to be irrevelant. What is the purpose of their initial lines of direct speech? They contribute nothing to the plot, nor the actual information about time systems provided directly in sentences 6 to 10. Hardy is content to leave their actual words aside in later conversations, reporting them as indirect speech <GET EXAMPLE!!!!>, or even pure narrative reports of discoursal acts, the content of which we can gather from the dialogue that immediately follows (sentences 83-85). Direct speech is, therefore, not used because what is said is particularly of interest, but for two dramatic purposes. Firstly, it brings a sense of immediacy to the narrative, an in media res style immersion rather than being told a story. It counterbalances what may be seen as unnecessary orientation in sentences 6-10. Secondly, the exact reproduction of the mummer’s dialect is vital to Hardy’s construction of local colour. The mummers dialogue is consequently full of idiomatic turns of phrase. Take for example the use of “be” instead of “are” in sentence 85. A final element that defines the mummers as elements of local colour rather than characterisation is the way in which Hardy records their reciting the mumming

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

play (sentences 95, 98, 102, 107, 110 and 114). This is direct speech, but marked out as lines of verse. Unlike other forms of Victorian intertextuality – chapter epigrams or quotations from poetry or other prose – these lines do not seem to contribute to the tone of the plot. Instead, they emphasise the realism of the passage. The highly unrealistic action of setting this dialogue into lines of verse draws attention to the fact that these lines belong to a play that exists outside this text, the actual words of an old custom, with the unfortunate side-effect of drawing attention to the extracts own textuality as well.

2 Eustacia Vye is simultaneously an isolated outsider and a figure who asserts great power and influence upon the other characters.
2.1 Evidence that Eustacia is the most significant character To prove my secondary assertion it is vital to appreciate that Eustacia is the most significant protagonist. Her perception is secondary only to the narrator’s. In fact, the distinction between their discourses is sometimes ambiguous. Hardy switches subtly between pure narrative and free indirect discourse to allow us to engage with Eustacia’s desires and anxieties, in what seem to be her own words, while maintaining his position as an omniscient narrator who can see the flaws in her schemes. The first instance of Hardy using free indirect thought to create, as Toolan puts it “character-alignedness” (117) is sentence 12: “Her grandfather was safe at the Quiet Woman”. Superficially this seems to express pure narration, it simply tells us where her grandfather is. However, the statement does not fully make sense unless it is attributed to Eustacia. There is no reason for her grandfather to be safer in the local public house than elsewhere; the novel has expressed no reason previously for her grandfather to be in any danger. What it means, in fact, is that her grandfather was safe from noticing her escapades because he was at the Quiet Woman. In other words it is Eustacia that is “safe”. This is a conceivable anxiety for Eustacia’s, and since it follows closely from a description of her perception, watching the assemblage through a hole (11), it seems attributable to her. Hardy uses free indirect thought rather than standard indirect thought – Eustacia thought that she was safe from discovery because her grandfather was at the Quiet Woman – because it is subtler and more economical. Also, we cannot detach it entirely from the third person narrator, implying that the storyteller shares her point of view to some extent.

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

The use of free indirect thought is more obvious in sentences 34 and 35, though the presence of the narrator is more keenly felt:
What was Wildeve? Interesting, but inadequate. Perhaps she would see a sufficient hero tonight.

The first sentence, especially, is attributable to Eustacia. Hardy dismissed Wildeve chapters ago as “one in whom no man would have seen anything to admire, and in whom no woman would have seen anything to dislike” (????. 93). Eustacia, however, who has had an affair with Wildeve but detested his inability to take her to a world of fashion or high romance, is far more likely to regard him as “interesting, but inadequate”. The tone reflects her elevated view of herself and melodramatic nature. The question-answer structure and ellipsis of pronouns - he was “interesting, but inadequate” - indicate a mental process, a character probing themselves to understand their own motivation. The second sentence is more ambiguous however. The prospect of seeing “a sufficient hero” that night is congruent with Eustacia’s romanticising nature and explains her motivation in embarking on the adventure, but it also has elements of the narrator’s voice, tantalisingly indicating (and therefore heightening the drama of) imminent plot developments. The sentence is perhaps best seen as an amalgam of the two voices – Eustacia’s discourse and the ironizing tone of a narrator who already knows that her “sufficient hero” will lead her only to tragedy. Hardy has used the ambiguity between pure narrative and free indirect discourse (identified by Toolan, 113) to create an interesting literary effect. We can empathise with Eustacia while simultaneously understanding that her actions are mistaken. 3.1 Eustacia as an outsider That Eustacia is an isolated outsider, a “lonesome dark eyed-creature” is stressed by the narrator throughout the novel. In this extract a sense of exclusion is attached to the door of Bloom’s End. This is not clear from a straightforward reading but then, as David Lodge states “the significance of repetition in a given text is not conditional on its being consciously and spontaneously recognised by a majority of intelligent readers” (?????, 78). There are a surprisngly large amount of cohesive

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

statements relating to the door. My analysis identified eleven clear instances, the largest chain of lexical cohesion for any nominal entity other than Eustacia: i) It became at once evident that the dance was proceeding immediately within the surface of the door (47) ii) The brushing of skirts and elbows, sometimes the bumping of shoulders, could be heard against the very panels (48) iii) “Is there no passage inside the door, then?” asked Eustacia (51) iv) The door opens right upon the front sitting-room, where the spree’s going on” (53) v) “we cannot open the door without stopping the dance” (54) vi) they always bolt the back door after dark (55) [lexical cohesion, though looser than the other instances, as the back door, by its own modifier, must be seen in relation to the front door] vii) imagined by these outsiders . . . from the occasional kicks of toes and heels against the door (61) viii) said Saint George, with his ear to the panel (71) ix) said the Valiant Soldier, looking through the keyhole (74) x) said Eustacia authoritatively, as she paced smartly up and down from door to gate to warm herself. (79) xi) Father Christmas advanced, lifted the latch, and put his head inside the door. (91) The frequency of repetition is not significant in itself. As Lodge states “the most frequently recurring word in a given text is not necessarily the most significant word” (?????, 78). It is vital the unity of this extract, however. Eustacia’s exclusion from the rest of Egdon heath society often involves her watching others from a hidden position – see sentence 11, but now she appears to be attempting to transgress the boundary, represented by the door, between their customs and her. As vii) shows, the world behind the door is one that inspires Eustacia’s dreams, one that she considers from another mummers’ perception looking “through the keyhole”. v) indicates that she is anxious about opening the door in such a way as will destroy what is inside. Eustacia’s power lies in her position outside social convention – she can only speak “authoritatively” in x) when she is firmly outside Bloom’s End. The sense of transgressing boundaries is enhanced by a lexical chain relating to entering, that is connected to the door and sometimes overlaps such as v) and xi). 3.2 Eustacia as a powerful figure Eustacia’s power is explicit in the narration. Her actions are accompanied by heroic evaluative adverbs: boldly (11) decisively (21), triumphantly (22) and authoritatively (79). She capably handles the demands of her adventure, expressed by the narrator’s obligation modality: Dash being all that was required to carry her triumphantly
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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

through, she adopted as much as was necessary. Eustacia asserts her authority inside her speech. Her speech, though sometimes superficially expressions of fact, is often evaluative. Her claim “I know the part as well as he”, for instance, demonstrates her self-confidence. However, the real sense of Eustacia’s power is more deeply ingrained in the text, in her participant roles. 36 material process verbs refer to Eustacia (excluding when she is incorporated as part of a group). The majority, 23, express processes in which she is dominant. In 19 she is a medium-initiator, in four the agent. Eight of the processes dominated by Eustacia are transitive, establishing her as the causer of events that affect other entities or objects. The affected instances are in two cases abstractions, in two objects and in four human beings. As Toolan has suggested, “experiential structures with the sequence agent-material-process-medium-target, where both participants are human, may be somewhat exceptional” (???? 93), so Eustacia’s power over the mummers is significant: Agent a cousin of Miss Vye’s Mat. Pro. Medium-t come to Charley’s place take Her graceful gait, elegant figure, and dignified manner in general I ‘ll challenge The enterprising lady followed any of you (the won the mummers

mummers) the mumming company

In all but the last sentence the process is metaphorical, and the medium-target in sentence 15 is not strictly Charley but “the position that Charley fills”. In sentence 18 Eustacia is represented by a series of agent metonyms (through the evaluative adjectives – graceful, elegant, dignified – only serve to increase the sense of sexual potency at the root of much of her power over the mummers). Even so, Eustacia constantly filling this dynamic participant role, affecting a whole group rather than individuals. Additionally, she twice plays anotherpowerful role as an instrument or force that affects one or more mummers: the other mummers were delighted with the new knight

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

(although this uses the typical marker of an instrument, with, it seems more appropriate as a force affecting the mummers – it can be paraphrased as the other mummers were delighted by the new knight without changing the meaning) <???> the Valiant Soldier was slain by a preternaturally inadequate thrust from Eustacia <???> So Eustacia’s particpant roles define her as extremely powerful.

3 Naivety of the difference between appearance and reality is at the root of the major characters’ tragedy.
3.1 Eustacia’s Dual Identity By taking on the role of Turkish Knight in the play, Eustacia transgresses the boundary of her isolation while maintaining the position of hidden observer that she has held throughout the novel. She loses some power when the mummers ascertain her identity, being cast as the affected participant more frequently than before. She shifts from carrier to attribute: Be you Miss Vye? (85) and from senser to phenomenon: We think you must be [Eustacia Vye] (85). The most potent stylistic feature to demonstrate Eustacia’s loss of status is the superfluous-noun phrase in sentence 59: “The lad who had first recognised Eustacia”. This transative phrase relegates Eustacia to the “done to” element. She no longer has authoritarian power over the mummers, but does gain sexual power, and a degree of admiration and sympathy: “the young fellow took especial care to use his sword as gently as possible” (111), “That’s upon our honour”. However, while Eustacia is reasonably adept at manipulating her identity, she is unable to see the disparity between her perception of Clym and the real man. 3.2 The Dream Of Clym Clym is primarily a dream rather than a character in this extract. His ‘real’ actions are limited to one material process. He “was leaning aainst the settle’s outer end”. The use of the past progressive tense allows us to background him – while he is leaning the narrator continues by discusing the implications of his appearance. Separate cohesive chains define him, as the “sufficient hero” of Eustacia’s imagination and as a man whose face is examined by the narrator. His first material process, dancing, occurs inside Eustacia’s imagination (sentences 39-41) as the mummers approach the house. These sentences are undoubtedly Eustacia’s free indirect thought – the pronoun “herself” is used. They express a level of detail and conviction that indicate that
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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

Eustacia is taking her dream too seriously. The first relational process, “He was there, of course”, leaves no room for the possibility that the reality of the situation may be different to her imagined one. It is enforced by a strong expression of probability modality: of course. One clause later her extended imaginings are prefaced by another piece of probability modality: Perhaps. Just as the mummer’s investigation of Eustacia’s identity placed her in a less powerful position, so her investigation for Clym’s true identity weakens her at the hands of circumstance. The prospect of comparing her dream of Clym with the reality relegates her to a subjected medium-target: She was troubled by Yeobright’s presence. Importantly, Clym is not represented as powerful in his position as a force in this clause, just “his presence”. Sentence 104 contains an enormous noun phrase representing circumstance as a whole – the concentration upon her part necessary to prevent discovery, the newness of the scene, the shine of the candles, and the confusing effect upon her vision of the ribboned visor which hid her features – which bear Eustacia down into the subjected position of medium-target: left her. One of the extract’s few negative mental process phenomenona follows; Eustacia was unable to perceive who were present as spectators. Whereas Eustacia’s cognition about fantasy romance is fluent and melodramatic, such as in the free indirect thought of sentences 39-41, her perception of the real world is thwarted: “she could faintly discern faces, and that was all” (105). Eustacia’s inability to reconcile her Romantic aspirations against reality leads to her death at the end of the novel. 3.3 The narrator’s investigation of Clym When describing Clym the narrator reveals more about its own attitude than the character. Evaluative sentences such as “The spectacle constituted an area of two feet in Rembrandt’s intensest manner” (132) contain allusions that do not belong to the internal world of the novel but foreground an educated storyteller. The narrator’s conviction that Eustacia’s imaginings are too tentative has the same effect, demonstrated in it combining two modal verbs of probability: “She had come out to see a man who might possibly have the power to deliver her soul from a most deadly oppression”. These contrast with the pure narrative of sentences 6 to 10, which are entirely factual (as indicated by the initial existential process On Egdon there was no absolute hour of the day) and unembellished by evaluative adjectives and adverbs. The generic sentences about Clym –all the more notable as they cause a shift from the
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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

past tense in which the rest of the extract is written to the simple present – explain why Hardy is often regarded as a pessimistic writer:

GENERIC SENTENCES ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Sentences 42 and 43, both generic, emphasise Eustacia’s heightened view of romance. It follows her melodramatic language – “twelvemonth regulation of fire”. She elevates her position, of having passed to courtship without acquaintance, by using an evaluative adjective to describe herself as being on a “royal road”. <This ties in with etiquette cohesion>. Sentences 42 and 43, both generic, emphasise Eustacia’s heightened view of romance. It follows her melodramatic language – “twelvemonth regulation of fire”. She elevates her position, of having passed to courtship without acquaintance, by using an evaluative adjective to describe herself as being on a “royal road”. <This ties in with etiquette cohesion>.

Conclusion

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

Appendix: Extract from The Return Of The Native
N.B. For convenience this extract has been numbered in terms of sentence, rather than more useful but less clear-cut units such as the clause.
Chapter 5: Through the Moonlight 1. The next evening the mummers were assembled in the same spot, awaiting the entrance of the Turkish Knight. 2. “Twenty minutes after eight by the Quiet Woman, and Charley not come.” 3. “Ten minutes past by Blooms-End.” 4. “It wants ten minutes to, by Grandfer Cantle’s watch.” 5. “And ‘tis five minutes past by the captain’s clock.” 6. On Egdon there was no absolute hour of the day. 7. The time at any moment was a number of varying doctrines professed by the different hamlets, some of them having originally grown up from a common root, and then become divided by secession, some having been alien from the beginning. 8. West Egdon believed in Blooms-End time, East Egdon in the time of the Quiet Woman Inn. 9. Grandfer Cantle’s

watch had numbered many followers in years gone by, but since he had grown older faiths were shaken. 10. Thus, the mummers having gathered hither from scattered points each came with his own tenets on early and late; and they waited a little longer as a compromise. 11. Eustacia had watched the assemblage through the hole; and seeing that now was the proper moment to enter, she went from the “linhay” and boldly pulled the bobbin of the fuelhouse door. 12. Her grandfather was safe at the Quiet Woman.
13. “Here’s Charley at last! How late you be, Charley.” 14. “’Tis not Charley,” said the Turkish Knight from within his visor. 15. “’Tis a cousin of Miss Vye’s, come to take Charley’s place from curiosity. 16. He was obliged to go and look for the heath-croppers that have got into the meads, and I agreed to take his place, as he knew he couldn’t come back here again tonight. 17. I know the part as well as he.” 18. Her graceful gait, elegant figure, and dignified manner in general won the mummers to the opinion that they had gained by the exchange, if the newcomer were perfect in his part. 19. “It don’t matter—if you be not too young,” said Saint George. 20. Eustacia’s voice had sounded somewhat more juvenile and fluty than Charley’s. 21. “I know every word of it, I tell you,” said Eustacia decisively. 22. Dash being all that was required to carry her triumphantly through, she adopted as much as was necessary. 23. “Go ahead, lads, with the try-over. 24. I’ll challenge any of you to find a mistake in me.” 25. The play was hastily rehearsed, whereupon the other mummers were delighted with the new knight. 26. They extinguished the candles at half-past eight, and set out upon the heath in the direction of Mrs. Yeobright’s house at Bloom’s-End. 27. There was a slight hoarfrost that night, and the moon, though not more than half full, threw a spirited and enticing brightness upon the fantastic figures of the mumming band, whose plumes and ribbons rustled in their walk like autumn leaves. 28. Their path was not over Rainbarrow now, but down a valley which left that ancient elevation

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native a little to the east. 29. The bottom of the vale was green to a width of ten yards or thereabouts, and the shining facets of frost upon the blades of grass seemed to move on with the shadows of those they surrounded. 30. The masses of furze and heath to the right and left were dark as ever; a mere half-moon was powerless to silver such sable features as theirs.

31. Half-an-hour of walking and talking brought them to the spot in the valley where the grass riband widened and led down to the front of the house. 32. At sight of the place Eustacia who had felt a few passing doubts during her walk with the youths, again was glad that the adventure had been undertaken.
33. She had come out to see a man who might possibly have the power to deliver her soul from a most deadly oppression. 34. What was Wildeve? Interesting, but inadequate. 35. Perhaps she would see a sufficient hero tonight. 36. As they drew nearer to the front of the house the mummers became aware that music and dancing were briskly flourishing within. 37. Every now and then a long low note from the serpent, which was the chief wind instrument played at these times, advanced further into the heath than the thin treble part, and reached their ears alone; and next a more than usual loud tread from a dancer would come the same way. 38. With nearer approach these fragmentary sounds became pieced together, and were found to be the salient points of the tune called “Nancy’s Fancy.” 39. He was there, of course. 40. Who was she that he danced with? 41. Perhaps some unknown woman, far beneath herself in culture, was by the most subtle of lures sealing his fate this very instant. 42. To dance with a man is to concentrate a twelvemonth’s regulation fire upon him in the fragment of an hour. 43. To pass to courtship without acquaintance, to pass to marriage without courtship, is a skipping of terms reserved for those alone who tread this royal road. 44. She would see how his heart lay by keen observation of them all. 45. The enterprising lady followed the mumming company through

the gate in the white paling, and stood before the open porch.
46. The house was encrusted with heavy thatchings, which dropped between the upper windows; the front, upon which the moonbeams directly played, had originally been white; but a huge pyracanth now darkened the greater portion. 47. It became at once evident that the dance was proceeding immediately

within the surface of the door, no apartment intervening.
48. The brushing of skirts and elbows, sometimes the bumping

of shoulders, could be heard against the very panels.
49. Eustacia, though living within two miles of the place, had never seen the interior of this quaint old habitation. 50. Between Captain Vye and the Yeobrights there had never existed much acquaintance, the former having come as a stranger and purchased the long-empty house at Mistover Knap not long before the death of Mrs. Yeobright’s husband; and with that event and the departure of her son such friendship as had grown up became quite broken off.

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

51. “Is there no passage inside the door, then?” asked Eustacia

as they stood within the porch.
52. “No,” said the lad who played the Saracen. 53. “The door opens right upon the front sitting-room, where the spree’s going on.” 54. “So that we cannot open the door without stopping the dance.” 55. “That’s it. 56. Here we must bide till they have done, for they always bolt the back door after dark.” 57. “They won’t be much longer,” said Father Christmas. 58. This assertion, however, was hardly borne out by the event. 59. Again the instruments ended the tune; again they recommenced with as much fire and pathos as if it were the first strain. 60. The air was now that one without any particular beginning, middle, or end, which perhaps, among all the dances which throng an inspired fiddler’s fancy, best conveys the idea of the interminable—the celebrated “Devil’s Dream.” 61. The fury of personal movement that was kindled by the fury of the notes could be approximately imagined by these outsiders under the moon, from the occasional kicks of toes and heels against the door, whenever the whirl round had been of more than customary velocity.

62. The first five minutes of listening was interesting enough to the mummers. 63. The five minutes extended to ten minutes, and these to a quarter of an hour; but no signs of ceasing were audible in the lively “Dream.” 64. The bumping against the door, the laughter, the stamping, were all as vigorous as ever, and the pleasure in being outside lessened considerably.
65. “Why does Mrs. Yeobright give parties of this sort?” Eustacia asked, a little surprised to hear merriment so pronounced. 66. “It is not one of her bettermost parlour-parties. 67. She’s asked the plain neighbours and workpeople without drawing any lines, just to give ‘em a good supper and such like. 68. Her son and she wait upon the folks.” 69. “I see,” said Eustacia. 70. “’Tis the last strain, I think,” said Saint George, with his ear to the panel. 71. “A young man and woman have just swung into this corner, and he’s saying to her, ‘Ah, the pity; ‘tis over for us this time, my own.’” 72. “Thank God,” said the Turkish Knight, stamping, and taking from the wall the conventional lance that each of the mummers carried. 73. Her boots being thinner than those of the young men, the hoar had damped her feet and made them cold. 74. “Upon my song ‘tis another ten minutes for us,” said the Valiant Soldier, looking through the keyhole as the tune modulated into another without stopping. 75. “Grandfer Cantle is standing in this corner, waiting his turn.” 76. “’Twon’t be long; ‘tis a six-handed reel,” said the Doctor. 77. “Why not go in, dancing or no? 78. They sent for us,” said the Saracen. 79. “Certainly not,” said Eustacia authoritatively, as she paced smartly up and down from door to gate to warm herself. 80. “We should burst into the middle of them and stop the dance,

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

and that would be unmannerly.”
81. “He thinks himself somebody because he has had a bit more schooling than we,” said the Doctor. 82. “You may go to the deuce!” said Eustacia. 83. There was a whispered conversation between three or four of them, and one turned to her. 84. “Will you tell us one thing?” he said, not without gentleness. 85. “Be you Miss Vye? We think you must be.” 86. “You may think what you like,” said Eustacia slowly. 87. “But honourable lads will not tell tales upon a lady.” 88. “We’ll say nothing, miss. That’s upon our honour.” 89. “Thank you,” she replied. 90. At this moment the fiddles finished off with a screech, and the serpent emitted a last note that nearly lifted the roof. 91. When, from the comparative quiet within, the mummers judged that the dancers had taken their seats, Father Christmas advanced, lifted the latch, and put his head inside the door. 92. “Ah, the mummers, the mummers!” cried several guests at once. 93. “Clear a space for the mummers.” 94. Humpbacked Father Christmas then made a complete entry, swinging his huge club, and in a general way clearing the stage for the actors proper, while he informed the company in smart verse that he was come, welcome or welcome not; concluding his speech with 95 “Make room, make room, my gallant boys, And give us space to rhyme; We’ve come to show Saint George’s play, Upon this Christmas time.” 96. The guests were now arranging themselves at one end of the room, the fiddler was mending a string, the serpent-player was emptying his mouthpiece, and the play began. 97. First of those outside the Valiant Soldier entered, in the interest of Saint George— 98 “Here come I, the Valiant Soldier; Slasher is my name”; and so on. 99. This speech concluded with a challenge to the infidel, at the end of which it was Eustacia’s duty to enter as the Turkish Knight. 100. She, with the rest who were not yet on, had hitherto remained in the moonlight which streamed under the porch. 101. With no apparent effort or backwardness she came in, beginning— 102. “Here come I, a Turkish Knight, Who learnt in Turkish land to fight; I’ll fight this man with courage bold: If his blood’s hot I’ll make it cold!” 103. During her declamation Eustacia held her head erect, and spoke as roughly as she could, feeling pretty secure from observation. 104. But the concentration upon her part necessary to prevent discovery, the newness of the scene, the shine of the candles, and the confusing effect upon her vision of the ribboned visor which hid her features, left her absolutely unable to perceive who were present

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native as spectators. 105. On the further side of a table bearing candles she could faintly discern faces, and that was all. 106. Meanwhile Jim Starks as the Valiant Soldier had come forward, and, with a glare upon the Turk, replied— 107. “If, then, thou art that Turkish Knight, Draw out thy sword, and let us fight!” 108. And fight they did; the issue of the combat being that the Valiant Soldier was slain by a preternaturally inadequate thrust from Eustacia, Jim, in his ardour for genuine histrionic art, coming down like a log upon the stone floor with force enough to dislocate his shoulder. 109. Then, after more words from the Turkish Knight, rather too faintly delivered, and statements that he’d fight Saint George and all his crew, Saint George himself magnificently entered with the well-known flourish— 110. “Here come I, Saint George, the valiant man, With naked sword and spear in hand, Who fought the dragon and brought him to the slaughter, And by this won fair Sabra, the King of Egypt’s daughter; What mortal man would dare to stand Before me with my sword in hand?” 111. This was the lad who had first recognized Eustacia; and when she now, as the Turk, replied with suitable defiance, and at once began the combat, the young fellow took especial care to use his sword as gently as possible. 112. Being wounded, the Knight fell upon one knee, according to the direction. 113. The Doctor now entered, restored the Knight by giving him a draught from the bottle which he carried, and the fight was again resumed, the Turk sinking by degrees until quite overcome—dying as hard in this venerable drama as he is said to do at the present day. 114. This gradual sinking to the earth was, in fact, one reason why Eustacia had thought that the part of the Turkish Knight, though not the shortest, would suit her best. 115. A direct fall from upright to horizontal, which was the end of the other fighting characters, was not an elegant or decorous part for a girl. 116. But it was easy to die like a Turk, by a dogged decline. 117. Eustacia was now among the number of the slain, though not on the floor, for she had managed to sink into a sloping position against the clock-case, so that her head was well elevated. 118. The play proceeded between Saint George, the Saracen, the Doctor, and Father Christmas; and Eustacia, having no more to do, for the first time found leisure to observe the scene round, and to search for the form that had drawn her hither.

6 - The Two Stand Face to Face
118. The room had been arranged with a view to the dancing, the large oak table having been moved back till it stood

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native as a breastwork to the fireplace. 119. At each end, behind, and in the chimney-corner were grouped the guests, many of them being warm-faced and panting, among whom Eustacia cursorily recognized some well-to-do persons from beyond the heath. 120. Thomasin, as she had expected, was not visible, and Eustacia recollected that a light had shone from an upper window when they were outside—the window, probably, of Thomasin’s room. 121. A nose, chin, hands, knees, and toes projected from the seat within the chimney opening, which members she found to unite in the person of Grandfer Cantle, Mrs. Yeobright’s occasional assistant in the garden, and therefore one of the invited. 122. The smoke went up from an Etna of peat in front of him, played round the notches of the chimney-crook, struck against the salt-box, and got lost among the flitches. 123. Another part of the room soon riveted her gaze. 124. At the other side of the chimney stood the settle, which is the necessary supplement to a fire so open that nothing less than a strong breeze will carry up the smoke. 125. It is, to the hearths of old-fashioned cavernous fireplaces, what the east belt of trees is to the exposed country estate, or the north wall to the garden. 126. Outside the settle candles gutter, locks of hair wave, young women shiver, and old men sneeze. 127. Inside is Paradise. 128. Not a symptom of a draught disturbs the air; the sitters’ backs are as warm as their faces, and songs and old tales are drawn from the occupants by the comfortable heat, like fruit from melon plants in a frame. 129. It was, however, not with those who sat in the settle that Eustacia was concerned. 130. A face showed itself with marked distinctness against the dark-tanned wood of the upper part. 131. The owner, who was leaning against the settle’s outer end, was Clement Yeobright, or Clym, as he was called here; she knew it could be nobody else. 132. The spectacle constituted an area of two feet in Rembrandt’s intensest manner. 133. A strange power in the lounger’s appearance lay in the fact that, though his whole figure was visible, the observer’s eye was only aware of his face. 134. To one of middle age the countenance was that of a young man, though a youth might hardly have seen any necessity for the term of immaturity. 135. But it was really one of those faces which convey less the idea of so many years as its age than of so much experience as its store. 136. The number of their years may have adequately summed up Jared, Mahalaleel, and the rest of the antediluvians, but the age of a modern man is to be measured by the intensity of his history. 137. The face was well shaped, even excellently. 138. But the mind within was beginning to use it as a mere waste tablet whereon to trace its idiosyncrasies as they developed themselves. 139. The beauty here visible would in no long time be ruthlessly over-run by its parasite, thought, which might just as well have fed upon a plainer exterior where there was

nothing it could harm. 140. Had Heaven preserved Yeobright from a wearing habit of meditation, people would have said, “A handsome man.” 141. Had his brain unfolded under sharper
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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

contours they would have said, “A thoughtful man.” 142. But an inner strenuousness was preying upon an outer symmetry, and they rated his look as singular.
143. Hence people who began by beholding him ended by perusing him. 144. His countenance was overlaid with legible meanings. 145. Without being thought-worn he yet had certain marks derived from a perception of his surroundings, such as are not unfrequently found on men at the end of the four or five years of endeavour which follow the close of placid pupilage. 146. He already showed that thought is a disease of flesh, and indirectly bore evidence that ideal physical beauty is incompatible with emotional development and a full recognition of the coil of things. 147. Mental luminousness must be fed with the oil of life, even though there is already a physical need for it; and the pitiful sight of two demands on one supply was just showing itself here. 148. When standing before certain men the philosopher regrets that thinkers are but perishable tissue, the artist that perishable tissue has to think. 149. Thus to deplore, each from his point of view, the mutually destructive interdependence of spirit and flesh would have been instinctive with these in critically observing Yeobright. 150. As for his look, it was a natural cheerfulness striving against depression from without, and not quite succeeding. 151. The look suggested isolation, but it revealed something more. 152. As is usual with bright natures, the deity that lies ignominiously chained within an ephemeral human carcase shone out of him like a ray. 153. The effect upon Eustacia was palpable. 154. The extraordinary pitch of excitement that she had reached beforehand would, indeed, have caused her to be influenced by the most commonplace man. 155. She was troubled at Yeobright’s presence. 156.The remainder of the play ended—the Saracen’s head was cut off, and Saint George stood as victor. 157. Nobody commented, any more than they would have commented on the fact of mushrooms coming in autumn or snowdrops in spring. 158. They took the piece as phlegmatically as did the actors themselves. 159. It was a phase of cheerfulness which was, as a matter of course, to be passed through every Christmas; and there was no more to be said.

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

Sources Cited
Abrams, M.H. 1999 A Glossary of Literary Terms Orlando: Hardcourt Brace College Publishers Toolan, Michael 1998 Language In Literature: An Introduction to Stylistics, London: Arnold Woodcock, George ed Hardy, Thomas 1985 The Return Of The Native (1878) London: Penguin Lodge Toolan

Casagrande, Peter J. ‘Something More To Be Said: Hardy’s Creative Process & The Case Of Tess & Jude’ in Pettit, Charles ed. 1994 New Perspectives On Thomas Hardy, Ipswitch: Macmillan Dickens, Charles 1998 Hard Times (1854), Schlicke, Paul ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ.Press Dohney, John ‘Characterisation in Hardy’s Jude The Obscure: The Function of Arabella’ in Pettit, Charles P.C. ??? Reading Thomas Hardy [book unavailable – taken from photocopies Hardy, Thomas Jude The Obscure (1895) Taylor, Dennis ed. Suffolk: Penguin Macabe, Colin 1979 James Joyce & The Revolution Of The Word: Language Discourse, Society London & Basingstoke: Macmillan Taylor, Dennis ‘The Letter Of What Law?’ in Hardy, Thomas Jude The Obscure (1895) Taylor, Dennis ed. Suffolk: Penguin

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

Eustacia’s mental process pheonomena: the assemblage through the hole the proper time to enter the part (she knows) a few passing doubts that the adventure had been undertaken a sufficient hero who were present as spectators some well-to do persons from beyond the heath (the sense of free indirect discourse is most explicit in sentence 41, that expresses Eustacia’s anxiety about Clym dancing with another woman by using the pronoun “herself”) Various sentences seem to follow Eustacia’s point of view, when she is stood outside Bloom’s End and when she is observing the guests having been “slain” in the play. Most of these (sentence 47 –48) are pure narrative. Sentence 123 and 124 cannot be Eustacia’s free indirect thought, as human beings do not produce an internal running commentary of what they are doing and seeing, but the viewpoint here is undoubtedly Eustacia’s. The following conjucture about the fireplace and Clym, including an allusion to Rembrandt, are more attributive to pure narrative and the narrator’s cultural allusions than Eustacia. There are 26 prepositional phrases, circumstantial to the actual processes and participants. Some of these are extraneous. The next evening in the same spot On Egdon from scattered points through the hole within his visor at half-past eight upon the heath in the direction of Mrs Yeobright’s house at Bloom’s End to the front of the house before the open porch immediately within the surface of the door against the very pannels within the porch after dark (???) into this corner (??) through the keyhole from door to gate at one end of the room During her declamation (???) within the chimney opening among the flitches

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native against the settle’s outer end Certainly don’t need to know that Mrs Yeobright’s house is “at Bloom’s End” – it had been there when used frequently as a setting over the previous 184 pages. Constant orientation forces us to think about landscape; the narrator is constantly enforcing our sense of the spatial relations of his setting. Adds little to plot – the actions and development of character etc. Pathetic fallacy is used to describe the wind on the heath. The sound from the heath-bells : “it was the single person of something else speaking through each at once”.(106). [also sense of unified self]

Hardy uses extreme pathetic fallacy here - probably the best example in the book. Weather and nature on the heath are often given human characteristics the young beeches undergo “amputations, bruises, cripplings and harsh lacerations”, they “bleed”, while “Each stem was wrenched at the root, where it moved like a bone in its socket...as if pain were felt”. Their physical turmoil mirrors that of Clym’s mental anguish (268/9). Here, as with the rest of the novel characters lives are mirroring the atmosphere and weather on the heath, e.g: storms have followed turbulence. This more than plain pathetic fallacy - it makes nature reflect human nature. Here, the weather has intensified in line with character’s anxieties. This overpowering discomfort brings a feeling of foreboding. • “The sun had branded the whole heath with his mark, even the purple heath flowers having put on a browness”. Sense of burning (“kiln”), extremity. There is also pathetic fallacy here, most notably in the description of “his mark”. (337) • Pathetic fallacy, again: “a perpetual moan which one could hardly believe to be caused by the air”. (340)
Pathetic fallacy: “I admire its grim old face”. Thomasin is at one with the heath. (414) Enormous pathetic fallacy and personification of heath: “oozing lumps of fleshy fungi”. “this season lay scattered about the heath like the rotton liver and lungs of some colossal animal” cf: “colossal” is used in “colossal prince of the world” to describe fate. (420)

Semantically, the mummers actually fill the position of some kind of recipient here. The clause can be paraphrased, with only a very slight shift in meaning, as the moon threw a spirited and enticing brightness to the fantastic figures of the mumming band. A similarly dehumanising technique is used to describe musicians in Bloom’s End (sentence 96). The use of the past continuous tense (the entire novel is in the past tense, as was Victorian convention) creates the sense that they are part of a process, just another element in this local custom, that they keep performing these actions in the background while the actions of interest – Eustacia’s part in the play – is foregrounded.

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

Agent Mat.Pro. the fiddler was mending the serpant-player was emptying

Medium-Target a string his mouthpiece

•The mummers are increasingly marked out as individuals during their interaction with Eustacia, however. That Eustacia, “in general won the mummers to the opinion that they had gained by the exchange, if the newcomer were perfect in his part”, does at least seem to be narrative reportage of a discoursal act, even if it is collective, vague (“in general”) and the most distancing fashion in which an author can convey a thought process. Saint George’s comment that the new Turkish Night may be too young is followed with, by means of explanation: “Eustacia’s voice had sounded somewhat more juvenile and fluty than Charley’s”. It is difficult to ascertain who this should be attributed to – on the one hand it simply conveys events in a tone of pure narration, but must also represent Saint George’s motivation – and therefore part of his thought process – for making the comment. Hardy’s characters often criticised as being generic, but the mummers are especially so. •The mummer’s opening conversation (sentences 2 to 5) is reported as direct speech, their dialect recreated exactly inside quotation marks. However, A similarly anonymous piece of unframed direct speech is used in sentences 66 to 68. Here however it seems to merely serve the purpose of providing variety for Hardy’s descriptive style. The speaker is simply explaining plot orientation that is as relevant to the reader as it is Eustacia.

•Early in the extract, Hardy creates the impression that the mummers are not defined by personal cognitive processes but by entrenched opinions. The first comments on their internal workings are that i) since [Grandfer Cantle] had grown older faiths were shaken ii) each [mummer] came with his own tenets on early and late can be seen as being at the loosest end of the scale of the catagory ‘narrative reports of discoursal acts’, though the exact time of this thought process, not to mention the exact thinkers whose faiths were “shaken”, are extremely abstract. ii), however, is not even a narrative report of a discoursal act. The mummers’ internal attitude has been established without any thought process. They do not think, they just are.
Nonconformist

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Candidate 316773 First Stylistics Assessed Essay: A Stylistc Analysis Of Hardy's Characterisation In The Return Of The Native

Important sense of the vitality of non-conformity, even here where so much emphasis is on romanticising local customs.
While Eustacia is isolated from the polite-manners of the “well-to-do” members of the party inside, she contols convention and etiquette as far as the mummers are concerned. Eustacia’s vitality allows her to break local custom. Saint George’s first evaluative statement: “It doesn’t matter” is in a sense willingness modality. He is willing to break the convention – that only local boys perform the mumming play – because it is her.

4 Hardy’s third person narrator is a character in itself.
From this extract alone we sense that the narrator itself has traces of character, intentionally conveyed by the author or not. Later, however, a distinct sense of character builds up in the narrator’s voice. Amid the personification and heightened imagery of the mummers’ march across the heath, we encounter the phrase “the fantastic figures of the mumming band”. Hardy’s use of the evaluative advjective “fantastic” is interesting, as the mummers are not really fantastic. Their costumes could be regarded as fantastic, especially as Hardy is extremely enthusiastic about their customs, but throughout the rest of the extract they have represented complete normality going about its annual customs. Eustacia is supposed to stand out against their conventionality – she, indeed could be regarded as fantastic. The same could be said the moon, with its “spirited and enchanting brightness” (3). The evaluative verb “fantastic” seems to have been placed here primarily for the sake of poetic turn of phrase, the alliterative “fantastic figures”. This device is effective at heightening the drama, but also provides the first glimpse in the extract of a rather ostentatious narrator. The first time that a mummer is described individually, other than the role he plays, is in the framing clause of his direct speech as “the lad who played the Saracen” <52> Other Eustacia FIT: 120. Thomasin, as she had expected, was not visible, and Eustacia recollected that a light had shone from an upper window when they were outside—the window, probably, of Thomasin’s room. Eustacia is the first protagonist whose direct speech receives a framing clause (sentence 14). This emphasises Eustacia’s dual identity, by referring to her as “The Turkish Night”. Though the framing clause is pure narrative, the impression of the Knight talking through his visor is a shift from Eustacia’s point of view to that of the mummers.

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George Woodcock's introduction to the Penguin Classics edition provides a summary of critical opinion. A term from literary criticism for "the detailed representation in prose fiction of the setting, dialect, customs, dress, and ways of thinking and feeling which are distinctive of a particular region" (Abrams 1999, 145). The vivid recreation of a bygone age and its local quirks is certainly a key element of The Return Of The Native.

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