“No, they are not desperate. They are only hopeless; and my great regret is that for what I have done no man or law can punish me.” In Thomas Hardy’s novel Return of the Native, it is Clym whom has all this guilt and realizes nothing can make it better. This quote directly correlates with Michael Henchard; this is one of the first emotions we learn of him in the novel. The feeling of guilt and wanting to change his wrongdoings, fuel his character throughout the book. His guilt first surfaces at the start of the novel when he drunkenly sells his wife and daughter to the highest bidder. Regretting his actions the next morning, his guilt motivates him to change his life and give up drinking. Even after losing everything in life he says, "My punishment is not greater than I can bear." Psychologically he thinks fixing his wrongs is by taking a vow to change his life.
Michael Henchard is the pure definition of a tragic hero. He has countless flaws but at the end of the day he is one of the strongest characters in the book. He wants nothing more than to be loved and to have a family again. It disagrees with my professor when he says that “Michael Henchard is just a hard character and there is nothing soft or moderate about him.” Although he may convey all these different emotions and attributes, I think he is very simple character to understand all he wants is love. He is to prideful to ever admit that and gets jealous when he sees others have what he wants. “He was the kind of man to whom some human object for pouring out his heat upon – were it affective or were it choleric – was almost a necessity. The craving of his heart for the re-establishment of this tenderest human tie had been great during his wife's lifetime, and now he had submitted to its mastery without reluctance and without fear. “ When he refers to heat I feel he wants to release his passion or love to someone because he never had the chance to before. He never gets to when he sells...
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