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The Return of the Native

The Return of the Native


by Thomas Hardy

The Return of the Native Guilt and Blame Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"Then you wronged me: and upon my life and heart I can hardly bear to recognize that you have such ill thoughts of me!" (1.6.78)

The idea of having a hard time dealing with another person's bad opinion of you runs throughout the book, and we see it very clearly emphasized with the conflicted relationship between Mrs. Yeobright and Eustacia. It's also interesting that Eustacia blames Mrs. Yeobright here, rather than feel any guilt herself over Mrs. Yeobright's bad opinion of her.

Quote #2

No sooner had Yeobright gone from his mother's house than her face changed its rigid aspect for one of blank despair. (3.6.21)

Once again, Hardy uses a short sentence with powerful imagery for emphasis. Instead of writing a whole paragraph about how Mrs. Yeobright was devastated, he opts for a quick description of her face, which tells us all we need to know about her emotional state here. In terms of style, less is often more for Hardy. Except when it comes to those nature descriptions.

Quote #3

"Why is it women can see from a distance what a man cannot see close? [...] And this is maternity – to give one's best years and best love to ensure the fate of being despised!" (3.6.44)

Mrs. Yeobright complains about the bad lot of women and mothers in general, rather than get too specific about her own problems here. It's an intriguing avoidance technique, where she blames the world at large rather than deal specifically with her guilt and blame of Clym and his wife.

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