The Return of the Native The Return of the Native discussion


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Am I the only one who dislike Eustacia Vye?

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message 1: by Yun (last edited Nov 27, 2015 01:08PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Yun Yi (light spoilers) A selfish, vain, game playing beautiful woman who doesn't have guts tell her husband what she did to her mother in law, who dumps her first lover for a another one for material reason, "falls in love" with first lover again because he becomes rich man.

I almost couldn't finish the book because the story is just too slow, and the main character - such as Eustacia - is too shallow for me to spend my time with. I totally enjoyed Tess and liked Jude but this is just not at all as good as those. I don't even get Hardy's point in creating such a person... maybe it's just me.


Steven Smith Its been a while since I read this so my memory might be a bit inaccurate but I thought Eustacia was certainly vain and selfish but I wouldn't say shallow. Wasn't she somewhat dissatisfied with her boring life on the heath and wanted romance and excitement and to discover a deeper meaning to life through emotion? I suppose this might seem shallow when compared to the other female character whose name I've forgotten but who was happy with simply getting her man and with the simple life the heath had to offer. Don't get me wrong - I personally wouldn't fancy being attached to Eustacia but as a character I thought she was great. I loved the imagery and atmosphere of Native. As close to the Victorian love of the spooky and supernatural that Hardy got to in the 6 books of his I've read.


message 3: by Yun (new) - rated it 2 stars

Yun Yi Steven wrote: "Its been a while since I read this so my memory might be a bit inaccurate but I thought Eustacia was certainly vain and selfish but I wouldn't say shallow. Wasn't she somewhat dissatisfied with her..."

good point Steven. I totally understand the part that she doesn't feel satisfied with her isolated rural life. still I think she is somewhat selfish.


Sahar keshmiri Yun wrote: "Steven wrote: "Its been a while since I read this so my memory might be a bit inaccurate but I thought Eustacia was certainly vain and selfish but I wouldn't say shallow. Wasn't she somewhat dissat..."
It's true that she is not satisfied with her life but the point is she didn't do anything about it. As I recall she was suggested a job that could change her life and all others involved in the story but she rejected it because she was too proud to work and thought it is beneath her to work.


Mehmet Yildiz In my view, Eustacia is a special character that represents a soul looking for difference transforming to a new self; she desires to extend herself to new possibilities.


Eric Maxfield Just finished this book. I think we are supposed to pity Eustacia who was swept away in all too common passions beyond her control.

She began the story as such a calm cool and mysterious character and we follow along until her tragic end.

I dont know if i would call her vain and selfish to want to escape a dull and empty life in the rural country. Seems a natural enough instinct for a free thinker.

As we grow older we realize that the secret to a happy life is to make the best of the cards you are dealt and not to constantly be searching for something more. But we cannot expect this wisdom from kids in their 20s. Even relatively wisened Clym is also a victim to the same idealism as Eustacia though in the opposite direction.

You are right to dislike her decison making and her fluctuation in love interest which does seem a little selfish but that to me was to reflect the foolishness of youth. It didnt strike me as anything close to villainy.

Probably your order of reading Hardy's books affects your opinion. I read Mayor of casterbridge before this one and the only reason i finished Mayor is because i came to it through the excellent movie The Claim with peter mullan which is based on it (loosely). Otherwise i might have given up on hardy. I wish i had started with Far From The Madding Crowd which i found much more entertaining and also has a pretty decent movie adaptation with carey mulligan.

Hoping the movie for Return of the Native with catherie zeta jones is good too.


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