1.Many critics feel that ‘The Return of the Native’ is too pessimistic. How far do you agree with this?
2. “The main interest in the novel lies in the characters of the three women and the ways in which the return of the native affects their destinies”. Account for the effect Clym’s return has on the three women.
3.Discuss the function of the rustics in The Return of the Native.
4.Discuss Hardy’s use of symbolism and imagery in The Return of the Native.
5.Explore the presentation of Thomasin. What is her function in the novel?
6.“Eustacia is presented as a character for whom we can feel no sympathy”. How far do you agree with this view of her?
7.By reading the author’s note on P464 it seems clear that Hardy would have preferred to end the novel at this point. Do you think the novel gains or loses anything by the addition of the last chapter?
8.How effective is Book One, Chapter One in preparing us for the rest of the novel?
9.Suffering is a major theme of The Return of the Native. With reference to at least three characters explore the ways in which this theme is developed.
10.How much sympathy do you feel for Clym Yeobright in ‘The Return of the Native’?
11.Why did Hardy call the novel ‘The Return of the Native’?
12.How far is Eustacia a victim of fate?
13.How far is Clym Yeobright a victim of fate?
14.Discuss the importance of the setting in ‘The Return of the Native’.
15.Discuss Hardy’s use of fate in ‘The Return of the Native’.
16.Discuss the role played by Diggory Venn in ‘The Return of the Native’.
17.Discuss the role and importance of Wildeve in ‘The Return of the Native’.
18.Account for the separation of Clym and Eustacia.
19.Discuss the role and character of Mrs Yeobright.
20.Would you agree that ‘The Return of the Native’ is a pessimistic novel? If so, why?
21.Discuss the role and character of Diggory Venn in the novel.