Thomas Hardy feels that Edgon Heath, the setting of the novel The Return of the

Native is a powerful, scary, dark and dreary place. He uses various techniques to express
this attitude. Some of the techniques he used to convey this thought are diction, imagery,
syntax, and tone.

The diction he choose was specific and concrete, presenting an actual place that
was depressing. The words he used attempted to present a specific, concrete perception
of things. Such as when he writes, "approaching the time of twilight and the vast tract of
unenclosed ild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment". This
presents a specific place, time and a specific insight which leaves with the thought of a
darkening, scary place.

Imagery played a very important role in Hardingís portrayal of the heath as a
powerful, scary, live place. The imagery develops a light and dark imagery. The heath,
earth is the dark and gloomy image, while the surrounding nature is light and good. He
refers to the heathís color as, "embrowned itself moment by moment," and says that the"hollow stretch of whitish cloud shutting over the sky." He refers to the heath as dark on
many occasions, he says the "earth with the darkest vegetation... In such contrast the
heath wore the appearance of an installment of night... darkness had to a great extent
arrived hereon... the heath exhaling darkness." These references of the heath as dark, give
us a gloomy, somber feel of the heath. Harding also uses metaphors to make us aware of
the power and life that Edgon Heath has. As in when he says "the face of the heath by its
mere complexion added half an hour to evening... the place became full of a watchful
intentness now: for when other things sank brooding to a sleep the heath appeared slowly
to awake and listen." These metaphors and personifications allow us to see that the heath
is more than a hunk of dirt, it has a life and energy.

Syntax is also used to enhance the power of the heath. Harding uses a
combination of medium length and long and involved length sentences. These lengths
enhance the feeling of power that Harding wants to express, because they are lengthy and
have a body. They arenít short and quick, each sentence says what it has to say and
delivers it. These sentence exemplifies the strength and ability that the heath has. The
sentence length is effective because each sentence allows Harding to go into detail about a
specific detail about the heath, such as the power and strength it has. Harding also used
more than 6 compound sentences in the description of the heath. This is so he can
elaborate on a specific characteristic of the heath, as in "The face of the heath by its mere
complexion added half an hour to evening: it could in like manner retard the dawn, sadden
noon, anticipate the frowning of storms scarcely generated, and intensify the opacity of a
moonless night to a cause of shaking and dread...." Harding also used it to compare the
heath as in, "Looking upwards, a furze- cutter would have been inclined to continue work;
looking down, he would have decided to finish his faggot and go home.

The tone of the description of the heath is morose, somber and gloomy. In the
description, Harding only describes the heath as dark and scary. He chooses to illustrate
these things and gives the story a morose feeling. His somber and gloomy tone is reflected
in his attitude toward the heath. The tone makes the heath appear seem scarier and more

Thomas Hardy delivers a powerful and firm attitude towards Edgon Heath. He
feels that it is a dark, scary and living place. He uses and combines various literary
techniques in order to achieve his goal of convey his feelings towards the heath to his