The Tragedy in The Return of the Native:A Darwinist Perspective
Abstract：The Return of the Native is one of Hardy’s representative works. As the first great tragic novel of Thomas Hardy in order of publication, The Return of the Native，is a tragedy of character and environment. This essay attempts to analyse the tragedy in The Return of the Native in view of Darwinism. The central task of this essay is to prove that the conflicts between character and environment (natural and social environment included) lead to the tragedy. The thesis is composed of four parts: two chapters and an introduction as a beginning and a conclusion as a summarization. The introduction is a survey of Hardy’s life and work, current studies on Hardy’s tragic novels at home and abroad. This part also states the aim of the thesis, i.e., to make a detailed probe into the tragedy of various kinds in the novel from the aspect of the conflicts between human and environment by applying Darwinism as a theoretical basis. The first chapter, which lays a theoretical foundation for the second chapter, is about Darwinism and its influence on Hardy. Chapter 2 is to analyse the tragedy from the perspective of conflicts between the protagonists and environment. The thesis concludes that the novel is a tragedy of character and environment, as man is under the control of law of nature and environment：only the adaptive will survive; the ill-fitting will be exterminated. This may serve as a bitter lesson for the modern society where competition is getting more and more intensive as well.
Key words: Thomas Hardy;，The Return of the Native，tragedy，Darwinism
关键词：托马斯•哈代;《还乡》; 悲剧; 达尔文主义
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