The Return of the Native Questions and Answers
by Thomas Hardy

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In The Return of the Native, how would I compare and contrast Eustacia Vye and Thomasin Yeobright?

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Eustacia Vye above all is a character who is shown to not fit in with her rural setting. The novel constantly describes her as being a "goddess" or some form of mystical, other-worldly creature, which arouses jealousy and dislike amongst the locals. The narrator argues that if Eustacia had just lived somewhere else, she could have had a very different life. However, whilst there is undeniably a sense in which Eustacia is shunned for things that are beyond her own control, at the same time, Hardy indicates that she is the victim of her own problems as well. She is a determined dreamer who expresses her hatred of the heath by indulging in constant daydreams of escape and different lives that she could lead. Above all, she yearns for some kind of escape that is reminiscent of a fairy tale:

There was, however, gradually evolved from its transformation scenes a less extravagant episode, in which the heath dimly appeared behind the general brilliancy of the action. She...

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