Showing posts with label British Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label British Fiction. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Miss Havisham's Attitudes towards her Relatives in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations

Miss Havisham's relationship with her relatives is even more loveless than her relationship with Pip in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations . Georgiana, Sarah Pocket, Cousin Raymond, and Camilla are the aging relatives of Miss Havisham who don't have an inch of love for the woman but are greedy for her money. They buzz around Miss Havisham like flies. Miss Havisham is well aware of this, and a number of times refer to her dead body laid out as a meal for her relatives on the same table where her decaying cake now sits.

A number of characters in Great Expectations are dominated by a greed for money. When Pip goes o Miss Havisham’s house for the second time, he finds a number of Miss Havisham’s relatives there. He calls those relatives “toadies and humbugs”.

Herbert Pocket- Herbert Pocket is a member of the Pocket family, Miss Havisham's presumed heirs

Camilla –Camilla is an ageing, talkative relative of Miss Havisham who does not care much for Miss Havisham but only wants her money. She is one of the many relatives who hang around Miss Havisham "like flies" for her wealth.

Cousin Raymond -Cousin Raymond is another ageing relative of Miss Havisham who is only interested in her money. He is married to Camilla.

Georgiana - Georgiana is another aging relative of Miss Havisham who is only interested in her money.

Sarah Pocket- Sarah Pocket is one of her relatives who are greedy for Havisham's wealth.

All those relatives seek after money. They all expect monetary advantages from Miss Havisham. They all visit her on her birthday in order to win her favor. They inwardly hate her because of her prosperity. Their visit to Miss Havisham is based on greed, hoping to please her enough to be given some of her money at her death.

Miss Havisham is the victim even of her lover’s greed for money. Her lover robbed her of a lot of money and then deserted her. Miss Havisham has learned that the possession of money is no guarantee of avoiding cruelty and unhappiness. So, she withdraws her from the outer world as much as possible and decides to live in isolation.

Mercenary attitude of people is reflected through Miss Havisham's relatives. Her relationship with her relatives is based on money and power. They may conceive enough hate for her but cannot refuse to have undue advantages from her. The greed of these persons also portrays the materialistic society of that time.

Heathcliff as a Villain or Devil in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

Heathcliff's faults, although largely accounted for by his depraved youth and his troublesome passion, outweigh the sympathy in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights . Throughout the story he commits numerous acts which could easily be deemed as evil. It is hard to forgive evil actions despite what motives lay behind them. Nelly affirms, “It is preferable to be hated than loved by him”.

Until he is sixteen, we are led to suspect him of nothing worse than a hot temper, a proud nature and a capacity for implacable hatred. Though Heathcliff possess inherently a savage violent nature, it is Catherine’s betrayal which leads to a steady deterioration in his character. The diabolic intensity with which Heathcliff pursues his revenge indeed, makes him seem a demon.

When Heathcliff returns to Wuthering Heights after several years, his frustration leads him to exact revenge on Hindley Earnshaw. He sets out deliberately to ruin Hindley, lending him money to gamble and drink and then getting him to mortgage the Heights to him so that he eventually becomes the master of the Heights. Hindley reduced Heathcliff to such a status that it would ruin Cathy to marry him. Heathcliff's villainy is shown when he returns the favour to Hindley, reducing him and his son Hareton to servant class. This is apparent when Heathcliff is talking to Nellie about his joy in degrading Hareton, he says, I've pleasure in him!..He has satisfied my expectations…”

His treatment of Hindley may still be morally justifiable, but nothing can excuse Heathcliff’s brutal treatment of innocent Isabella. He uses Isabella’s infatuation and gets her to elope with him. Isabella believes that Heathcliff is a kind decent man; however, soon after she marries him, he becomes abusive. This is also shown in a letter from Isabella to Nellie in which she says, “he is ingenious and unresting in seeking to gain my abhorrence! I assure you, a tiger, or a venomous serpent could not rouse terror in me equal to that which he awakens.”

His brutality is also shown in his last speech with his beloved Catherine. Instead of consoling her, he harshly treats her. Heathcliff says, 'Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort - you deserve this. You have killed yourself..They'll blight you - they'll damn you. You loved me - then what right did you to leave me?..I have not broken your heart - you have broken it - and in breaking it, you have broken mine.'  This quote shows Heathcliff's anger, and his blaming of Cathy.

His desire for revenge however doesn’t end with the death of Hindley or with Isabella’s escape from the Heights. In his devilish scheme he pursues his revenge through Hareton, the son of Hindley, and Catherine the daughter of Edgar Linton. He treats Hareton as he had been treated by Hindley. Hareton is deprived of education, fumed into a mere farm land and treated as a servant.

His treatment of Catherine defies logic. He forgets that she is the daughter of his own beloved Catherine. He has imprisoned her till he can forcibly get Catherine married to Linton. Catherine is deliberately kept in the dark about Linton’s grave state of health. Heathcliff violently hits her when Catherine bites him in a bid to escape and he does not let her visit her dying father. Hareton and Catherine are innocent. They did no harm ro Heathcliff. To take revenge on innocents is really a brutish task and we cannot forgive him for this.

His treatment of his own sick son Linton is no better. He claims rights over his son Linton but has no love for the sickly boy. It is morally reprehensible that he terrorizes and mistreats even his own son. He forces him to woo Catherine, so that a marriage between them would make Heathcliff the master of Thrushcross Grange, after the death of his son. He is totally callous, unfeeling and cruel when he refuses to get a doctor for his dying son as he feels that his life is not worth a farthing. Even when Linton Heathcliff lets Catherine escape, he punishes the sick boy and makes sure Catherine is back at the Heights, immediately after the funeral of her father,

All these, indeed make him seem a demon and the readers are unwilling to draw any sympathy to him.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eperialism in Rudyard Kipling’s Kim

Rudyard Kipling’s Kim easily falls into the category of colonial texts, which tried to portray the East as an Orientalized Orient. When Kim was published in 1901, the British Empire was still the most powerful empire in the world. The Indian subcontinent was one of the most important parts of the empire, which thousands of "Anglo-Indians," like Kipling himself, called home.  As we go through Kim, we find that Kipling, consciously or unconsciously acts as an imperialist agent. Imperialism was not just the practice of the British Empire's acts of colonization of other lands and people; imperialism was a philosophy that assumed the superiority of British civilization and therefore the moral responsibility to bring their enlightened ways to the "uncivilized" people of the world. This attitude was taken especially towards nonwhite, non-Christian cultures in India, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

In his “The pleasure of Imperialism”  Edward Said says that Kim is “a master work of imperialism…a rich and absolutely fascinating, but nevertheless profoundly embarrassing novel.” He re-reads Kim from the post-colonial perspective and says that many of the observations of Indian life presented in Kim as fact are derogatory stereotypes, derived from orientalists' beliefs.

For example, Edward Said writes in his introduction to Kim:

Sihks are characterized as having a special 'love of money'; Hurree Babu equates being a Bengali with being fearful; when he hides the packet taken from the foreign agents.

These derogatory ethnic stereotypes are sharply contrasted with Kipling's portrayals of the British and British culture as more advanced. For example, when Lurgan Sahib attempts to hypnotize Kim, Kim recites the multiplication tables he learned at English school to resist—sharply symbolizing Kipling's belief in the advancement of British law over the superstitious ways of the Asians. Such contrasts throughout Kim serve to support and justify the rule of the "more capable" British over the Indian people.

Moreover, according to Edward Said the portrayal of Kim as an orphaned quite a jungal boy, sensitive and friendly is basically an image of Indian people. Culturally he was making them inferior. In his view Indians were good natured, sensitive, friendly but were jungali and uncultured. He conceives Indian society devoid of elements hostile to the perpetuation of British rule, for it was on the basis of this presumptive India that orientalists sought to build a permanent rule. The Kim (the protagonist of his picturesque novel KIM) is a major contribution to this Orientalized India of the Imagination. For example, “Kim would lie like oriental” or, bit later, ” all hours of the twenty-four are alike to orientals”, or, when Kim pays for train ticket with lama’s money he keeps one anna per ruppe for himself, which, Kipling says, is “the immemorial commission of India” later still Kipling refers to “the huckster instinct of the east” …..Kim’s ability to sleep as the trains roar is an instance of “the oriental’s indifference to mere noise”.

Kipling also develops between "native" and "Sahib" conflicts with the unavoidable fact that the British are the governing class, and the Indians are the governed. Kipling, however, presents the imperialist presence in India as unquestionably positive. This is done most effectively through the main plot of the novel — the endeavors of Indian and British spies to protect the northern border of British India from the encroachment of Russia, thus protecting the imperial interests of the British Empire. It is especially significant that Indian spies are shown protecting British interests. In this way, Kipling constructs an India in which the native population supports the British Empire and thus presents Britain's imperialist presence as a positive good.

The way Kipling assigns Kim the protagonist and Babu Hurree Chander oppositional positions, for example, is also crucial to the power relations within which the narrative operates. The relationship between the colonizers and the natives was indeed a complex one, because there was no tidy transfer of power between the two parties. There are connections between the portrayal of Kim and the Babu but it becomes Kipling’s challenge to assign these two characters distinct roles in his political narrative. 

Kipling’s portrayal of Babu Hurree Chander Mookerjee, a native employee in the British administration, is a literary device used by Kipling to depict imperial authority. Indeed for Kipling, who believed that it was India’s own destiny to be ruled by England, it was imperative to stress the superiority of the white man, whose colonial mission was to rule the dark and ‘inferior’ races. He does this by locating the educated Hurree Babu in a position that is subordinate to Kim.

In terms of the social hierarchy enforced by colonial order, therefore, Kim occupies the privileged position by belonging to the ‘rulers’ whilst the Babu is his insignificant ‘other’. Despite this notable fact, both characters are, undeniably, products of a colonial upbringing in a colonized society. Thus, Kim develops as a superior in his role of authority, whilst Babu Hurree Chander is his excluded opposite. In other words, the Babu is Kim’s anti-self, to whom Rudyard Kipling assigns a negative value in relation to Kim. In fact the relationship between the coloniser and the colonized is a tense one, because of the intensity of the British colonial period. This is Kipling’s major dilemma in the novel and a problem that he attempts to overcome. The characters are merely there to highlight how the British Empire affected those at grassroots level, the people most affected by colonial authority. This is also why we see so many male relationships forged throughout the novel. Colonies were essentially run by men and imperialism was driven from a predominantly male perspective.
It is with this social and political context in mind that exposes Kipling’s imperialist ideology as being nothing more than a narrative strategy, to represent Kim’s authority over the native inhabitants of the colony. However, Kipling was arguably an imperialist, and Kim embodies attitudes towards British rule in India, which these days are wholly unacceptable and unpalatable. Kipling believed it was right and proper for Britain to ‘own’ India and rule its people, and so the possibility that this position might indeed be questionable never seems to have crossed Kipling’s mind. However, at the time that Kipling was writing, there was considerable ferment of revolt amongst Indians against British rule but Kipling appears to dismiss this at points in the novel when he could have acknowledged it. This is particularly apparent in Chapter Three when he has an old soldier comment on the Great Mutiny of 1857, dismissing it as mere “madness”:

In terms of explaining colonization and imperialism, therefore, Kim is the ideal embodiment of the conflicting Indian and English worlds. Interestingly, it appears that all of the events of the Great Victorian Empire are inbred in Kim’s own character. As the British Empire sought to discover and entrench its imperial authority in India, so too does Kim seek to find a place in the country in which he was born. Thus, Kim faces an ongoing struggle to create a new identity for himself. “Who is Kim?” “What is Kim?” are two questions that Kim asks himself as the novel progresses. For example on page 331 of Chapter 15, Kim poses exactly these questions from “his soul”:

‘I am Kim. I am Kim. And what is Kim?” His soul repeated it again and again.’
As in the words of Edward Said, “we have been shown two entirely different worlds existing side by side, with neither really understanding the other, and we have watched the oscillation of Kim, as he passes to and fro between them.” As such, Kipling renders a vision of India where intellectual, moral and political boundaries are less than equal. Indeed, if Kipling believed, as he well argued, that East and West can never really meet in the Indian colony, then in Kim he makes sure they do not.

Kipling’s emperialism becomes more evident if we compare him with another Victorian novelist Conrad. Unlike Conrad, Kipling did not offer any negative assessment of the imperial project.  On the contrary, for him it represented high adventure.  It was Europe's moral duty to 'enlighten' the non-white world.  Kipling believed in racial difference, that is, in European superiority and for him British rule in India was a solid fact, beyond any challenge.  

Thus, the Great Empire had a profound effect on Rudyard Kipling’s literary creativity, especially in the creation of his characters and the distinctive lives that they lead. As Said points out Kipling's Kim embodies the absolute divisions between white and non white that existed in India and elsewhere at a time when the dominantly white Christian countries of Europe controlled approximately 85 percent of the world's surface.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sense of Disillusionment of Life in Thomas Hardy's 'The Return of the Native'

Thomas Hardy has a very pessimistic philosophy of life and his characters also suffer from the disillusionment of their lives. He shows man lives in an indifferent world. The Return of the Native is based on the assumption that man is destined by God to suffer the overwhelming pain and suffering which exits in the world.

All the main characters of The Return of the Native namely- Clym, Eustacis, Wildeve, and Mrs Yeoright have their own aim ambition. But all their plans turn into vain. All of their lives are full of aim. But they are trapped in a series of bitterly ironic events. They are faced with an incomprehensible universe.

The protagonist of the novel, Clym at an early age have been sent to Budmouth and from where he had gone to Paris. In Paris he had placed in trade and he had rise to the position of a manager of a diamond-merchant’s establishment. He is a boy of whom something is always expected. He feels that he has to use his services for the people in Egdon Heath. In order to be of some service to the people, he wants to start a school. His misfortune, semi blindness disables him from executing the educational project.

In his love affair also he was not successful. Clym is very much attracted by the charm and beauty of Eustacia. Ignoring his mother’s strong opposition he takes a cottage at Alderworth, several miles away from Blooms-End. But the utter incompatibility of temperaments had foredoomed their marriage.

The heroine of the novel, Eustacia was fully aware of the beauty, which nature has bestowed upon her. She didn’t care about what people may tell about her. She can’t bear the loneliness that heath has. She says, “Tis my cross, my shame and will be my death”. Eustacia dreamed of a life in Paris. She hopes that if she marries, Clym he may take her to Paris. She has fascination for the pompous city life. But Clym on the other hand wants to settle in Edgon. So she had to stay in Heath. In the later part of the novel she tries to escape from the Edgon Heath with the help of Wildeve. Coincidentally Clym writes Eustacia a letter begging her to return to him - but he sends the letter too late. Eustacia does not see the letter before she leaves to flee with Wildeve. If she had, she might have no die like this.

Mrs Yeobright, the mother of Clym, is a woman of middle age with well-formed feature. She vehemently opposes the plans of Clym to start a school. She wants Clym to go back in Paris because there he has a respectable job. She had brought up her with great care and devotion. She also strongly opposes not to marry Eustacia. She says, “Is it best for you to injure your prospects for such a voluptuous, idle woman as that?” But nothing could restrict her son from staying in the Heath or marrying Eustacia.

She was shocked, for example, by the sight off her son dressed as a furze cutter. She could not believe her eyes. She had thought it was only a diversion or hobby for him.

Again she resolves to reconcile with her son. But she never gets the chance to reconcile with her son and she dies.


Though Wildeve is depicted as a demon here but still he is also the portrayal of disillusionment. In the beginning of the novel, Wildeve responses quickly to Eustacia’s signal fire. It is true that he wishes to marry her. But he could not. And in the later part of the novel he unhesitatingly leaps into the stream with all his clothes on to try to rescue Eustacia. But in this time also he fails and dies.

Analyzing all the above discussed characters we can say that man is thus posited to be the source of the cosmic but the cosmic is considered to be too complex for human understanding.

Nelly Dean as a Narrator in Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights'

Nelly Dean serves as the chief narrator in Wuthering Heights. A sensible, intelligent, and compassionate woman, she grew up essentially alongside Hindley and Catherine Earnshaw and is deeply involved in the story she tells. She has strong feelings for the characters in her story, and these feelings complicate her narration.

Nelly is an eyewitness-first person participant-main narrator of Wuthering Heights. Nelly Dean’s narrative has an extraordinary sometimes breathless energy as if she were describing events that she had witnessed an hour ago, every moment of which is vividly present to her. Nelly’s narrative is an art of stark immediacy - of making the past live for us in the present.

As much of Nelly’s narrative is unfolded in the words of the actual characters, we the readers, feel that the narrative is moulded by the pressure of events, not that the shape and interpretation of events is being fashioned by the narrator. The sense of actuality is conveyed by a series of concrete details that fall artlessly into place. Nelly’s sureness in relating her narrative seems to arise out of an astonishing clear memory, the impression of rapid excitement is achieved by concentrating our attention on movement and gesture, action and reaction, intermixed with vehement dialogue which convinces by its emphatic speech rhythms and plain language. The dialogue has no trace of a conscious stylist, it is noticeable for the brief rapidity of the sentence, an example of this is Nelly’s recollection of the time leading up to Catherine’s death, when Catherine emplored her to open the window of her room - "Oh, if I were but in my own bed in the old house!" she went on bitterly, wringing her hands, "And that wind sounding in the firs by the lattice. "Do let me feel it! - it comes straight down the moor - do let me have one breath!"

Nelly’s value as a narrator is clear from this example. She brings us very close to the action and is in one way deeply engaged in it. The intimate affairs of the Grange and the Heights have taken up her whole life, however, her position as a professional housekeeper means that her interests in events is largely practical. She provides the inner frame of the narrative and we see this world of the successive generations of Earnshaw’s and Linton’s through her eye’s, although much of the dialogue, in the interests of objectivity, is that of the characters themselves. As a narrator reporting the past from the present, she has the benefit of hindsight and can therefore depart from the straight chronological narrative to hint at the future.

Nelly is a character within her own narrative, which causes her several problems. At times she is involved in the action, she is now describing and therefore she treads a difficult path between romantic indulgence and moral rectitude, she both encourages and discourages relationships. Her attitude to theme sways between approval and disapproval, depending on her mood. This is primarily evident in the role she plays in the love triangle between Heathcliff, Catherine and Edgar; at times taking Edgar’s side while yet arranging the last meeting between Heathcliff and Catherine by leaving the window open for him. She adopted a similar position between the relationship between Cathy and Linton, at time colluding with Cathy and at other times judging and betraying her for writing against her father’s wishes. 
There is an ambivalence in Nelly’s attitude and this combined with her meddling nature renders her moral stance inconsistent and even hypocritical. Despite these shortcomings, she is vigorous, lively narrator with a formidable memory whose energy and unflagging interests allow the reader an insight into the lives of characters.

As a narrator, her language is lively, colloquial and imaginative, this has the effect of bringing characters to life and providing the reader with many vivid and precise images, an example of this is her reference to Heathcliff’s life "It’s a cuckoo’s, sir - I know all about it, except where he was born, and who were his parents, and how he got his money at first. And that Hareton, has been cast out like a unfledged dunnock." In this example the tagging on of the phrase "at first" suggests that Nelly knows how he got his money later and therefore arouses our interest in Heathcliff. Nelly is limited because of her conventional, religious and moral sentiments, which often prevent her from a greater understanding of the emotions or motives of the characters.

From the above discussion we can say that Nelly is actually a narrator, rather than a character.

Significance of the Title of Charles Dickens's “Great Expectations”

The title of Charles Dickens’s novel Great Expectations mainly refers to Pip’s "great expectations" which are many dimensional and ever-evolving. His great expectations arrive in the form of his fortune and are embodied in his dream of becoming a gentleman. These expectations also take the shape of his longing for a certain cold star named Estella. Each of the three parts of the novel treats a different expectation, and we watch how Pip changes in the face of his changing expectations.

Pip undergoes 3 phases in his life, in which he has different expectations:

The first stage of Pip’s expectations

Pip is a poor orphan living with his sister and her husband the blacksmith. He has an encounter with an escaped criminal on Christmas and the help he gives him results in the criminal setting him up with a secret inheritance. One day a lawyer comes and says that he has money coming or "great expectations" and he has to have a different education now that is he is to be a gentleman rather than a blacksmith.

The title also alludes to the idea of great things to come or things that are expected to come but aren't there yet.

The second stage of Pip’s expectations

When Pip receives riches from a mysterious benefactor he snobbishly abandons his friends for London society and his 'great expectations'.

The third stage of Pip’s expectations

On his arrival in London, Pip’s initial impression is London is unattractive and dirty. Nonetheless, his great expectations lie before him, and he is informed by Jaggers and his clerk, Wemmick, of his new living quarters. When Pip turns 21 years old, he visits Jaggers for further information on his expected fortune and hopefully the identity of his benefactor. Jaggers tells him he will have an annual allowance of 500 pounds until his benefactor is made known to him, but refuses to tell him when his benefactor will be revealed to him. He also tells Pip that when his benefactor is revealed, Jaggers’ business will end, and he need not be informed about it.

In yet a fourth (metafictional) sense, we can say that the title refers to the readers’ great expectations, which Dickens builds upon for his wonderful plot twists. All of these layers of meaning in the title make for a rich reading experience.

Dickens portrays the expectations of other characters very efficiently in the novel .

Miss Havisham’ Expectation

Miss Havisham is the wealthy, eccentric old woman who lives in a manor called Satis House near Pip's village. She is manic and often seems insane, flitting around her house in a faded wedding dress, keeping a decaying feast on her table, and surrounding herself with clocks stopped at twenty minutes to nine. As a young woman, Miss Havisham was jilted by her fiancé minutes before her wedding, and now she has a vendetta against all men. Her expectation is to obtain revenge on the male sex and so she adopts Estella and deliberately raises her to be the tool of her revenge, training her beautiful ward to break men's hearts.

Magwitch’s Expectation

Magwitch and Pip first meet when Pip is a boy and Magwitch an escaped convict. Magwitch does not forget Pip's kindness in the marshes, and later in life devotes himself to earning money that he anonymously donates to Pip.
Magwitch’s expectation is to make Pip gentleman in a full sense and so his expectation is great.

The sad irony of the title is that expectations are never great. A man is what he does. A man who expects to be given is a parasite and a fool. The title has something to do with the nature of Pip's perception of society. He comes from a poor blacksmith family and has these great expectations of what he's missing out on. As the book progresses these "great" expectations become less and less great to Pip. He meets Magwitch (as Uncle Provis) and he is just realizing how much he'd rather be back at home at the forge than live out all of these great expectations he had for the rich social class.

Thomas Hardy's Tragic Vision of Life in 'The Return of the Native'

Hardy has a very pessimistic philosophy of life as his characters seem to have little control over their own lives. Hardy saw external circumstances and uncontrollable internal urges as controlling human actions. In this aspect we find that the vision of life that Hardy gives in The Return of the Native is essentially tragic and in characterization Hardy is similar to the Greek tragedians.

The Return of the Native shows man as the helpless plaything of invisible powers, ruthless and indifferent. In this novel Hardy embodies the idea that man lives in an indifference of universe. Critics usually refer Hardy’s themes as expressing a fatalistic view of life, that is to say a view of life which depicts human actions as subject to the control of an impersonal force perhaps called destiny or fate which is independent of both man and man’s god.

The characters in Hardy’s novel do not have control over their lives. First of all, Hardy believes that characters are governed by fate. In The Return of the Native Hardy symbolises this ‘fate’ by his presentation of chance and co-incidence.The Return of the Native is the tragedy of Clym, Clym’s mother, Eustacia and Wildeve. Hardy as a rule emphasizes the fact that even those characters whom would call wicked are so much the creatures of circumstance that they are far more to be pitied than to be blamed.

There is nothing impractical or impossible or ignoble about Clym’s decision to start a school on Egdon Heath. But destiny must intervene to prevent him from succeeding in his purpose. He disregards his mother’s opposition to marry Eustacia Vye. He becomes semi-blind which forces him to become a humble furze-cutter. Again we find that Clym finds himself in a difficult situation for which he is no way deliberately responsible. Hardy thus describes Clym’s situation “three antagonistic growth had to be kept alive, his mother’s trust in him, his plan for becoming a teacher and Eustacia’s happiness.”

Fate or providence or circumstance has put Eustacia Vye, the tragic heroine in the wrong place. She marries Clym Yeobright as an escape rejecting her former lover, Damon Wildeve. But nothing can provide her a happy and worthy existence. Eustacia finds herself in a difficult situation. Clym's promising life has completely changed direction at the conclusion of the text so she suffers more.

Damon Wildeve, spitefully marries Clym's cousin Thomasin in revenge for Eustacia's rejections of his charms. But he is also not happy because the reminiscence of his X beloved always haunts him. Even he names his daughter name by the name of Eustacia.

Destiny shows its power in more glaring form, namely in the form of accidents and coincidences. The most crucial coincidence or accident in the novel is Mrs. Yeobright’s arrival at Clym’s house precisely at the time when Wildeve and Eustacia are engaged in an intimate conversation inside the house.

Mrs. Yeobrights death is the outcome of a series of chronic accidents and coincidences. Mrs. Yeobright's decides to send a gift of guineas. Her son, Clym, is marrying Eustacia against her wishes, and she hopes that, by offering this gift, she and her son can repair their relationship. The other half of the money is to go to her niece, Thomasin, who has recently married Damon Wildeve, Eustacia's former lover. Unfortunately, Mrs. Yeobright selects as her messenger the inept Christian Cantle, the village simpleton. This ill-considered decision has major ramifications, and ultimately deepens the rift between herself and her son instead of bridging it. Instead of hurrying to the wedding party, Christian attends a raffle with his fellow heath men and happens to win. To the simple man, this occurrence is evidence of newly discovered, infallible luck.

After Christian has sorrowfully left, Diggory Venn, a former suitor of Thomasin and Damon Wildeve's rival, reveals that he has been observing the dice game from a nearby hiding place. He has overhead the gamblers, and had watched the drama unfold. He challenges Wildeve to extend his winning streak, and the two men play. At first, "The game fluctuated, now in favour of one, now in the favour of the other, without any great advantage on either side" (Hardy 182). However, Lady Luck soon deserts Wildeve. He eventually loses all the coins to Diggory Venn. Venn is unaware that they were to be divided between Clym and Thomasin, and so presents all the guineas to Thomasin. As she did not know the amount of the gift, she does not think to question the precise number of guineas. Through this convoluted chain of events Mrs. Yeobright's hopes for reconciliation are dashed.

This situation drives mother and son apart as she believes Clym received the gift but made no gesture of thanks. Eventually, Mrs. Yeobright decides once more to attempt reconciliation with her son and his new wife, and again Hardy's philosophy of how change and chance conspire to cause human suffering comes into play. But the day Mrs. Yeobright chooses to make her journey is unseasonably warm, resulting in a difficult expedition.

Through a misunderstanding, no one answers the door when she knocks, even though she knows that Clym, Eustacia, and another man are inside. Feeling cast off by her son, Mrs. Yeobright heads back home in the sweltering heat, growing extremely exhausted and weary from the length of the walk and heat. When Clym finds his mother, she is exhausted and her weak heart is suffering, and she dies with Clym present. Her last words are that she is a, "broken-hearted woman cast-off by her son."

All these events are guided by fate. If Mrs. Yeobright were not as elderly--if Clym had not fallen into such a deep sleep-if Wildeve had not come to the house--then the tragedy could have been avoided.

It is through misunderstanding and unfortunate coincidence that events drive Eustacia to her death and Wildeve to follow her. When Clym discovers the part Eustacia played in his mother's demise, Clym has a fierce quarrel with Eustacia and Eustacia is compelled to leave him. Disillusionment, conflict with her mother-in –law, and a violent quarrel with her husband lead her to attempt a desperate flight with former lover Damon Wildeve. On her way to meet him she gets drowned. Hardy never tells us whether Eustacia’s drowning is an accident or a suicide. But suicide is the inevitable explanation, since she considers herself trapped between the intolerable alternation of staying on Edgon Heath or living with a lover who is inferior to herself. She is a victim of perverse dispensation of things. Circumstances have put her in wrong place. She cries in frenzy, “How I have tried to be a splendid woman, and how destiny has been against me! I do not deserve my lot!” Fate is her enemy and it effectively frustrates her desire to taste the joys and the life of Paris driving her ultimately to commit suicide.

On the other hand, Hardy symbolises nature as fate. A direct confrontation with Egdon causes tragedy. Eustacia, for example, has always hated Egdon and the end of the novel nature kills her. Venn pulls Eustacia's cold, lifeless body out of the water. Whether she purposely fell in or slipped, Eustacia has drowned. Because Eustacia could not accept the heath, the heath has rejected her for all eternity

Characters in Hardy such as Clym, Eustacia, Wildeve and Mrs Yeobright are trapped in a series of bitterly ironic events. They are at the mercy of their instincts and emotions. Besides this, the incongruity of the situation forms the very basis of the tragedy in his novel; the incongruity between Clym and his mother, between Eustascia and Mrs Yeobright. All these persons have their own individual natures and temperaments and the irreconcilability and incompatibility of their temperament bring their tragedy. Hardy proves a dismal view of life in which coincidence and accident conspire to produce the worst of circumstance due to the indifference of the Will.