The Deviation In Thomas Hardy's The Return Of The Native

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Dr. Maysaloon Khalid Ali , Asst. Lecturer Aasha Abdulmohsin Ali


Any author, in any era, strives to make his or her work a reflection of the society in which he or she lives. This research looks at Thomas Hardy's effort to define deviation. Hardy exposes the late-Victorian world with inconsistencies, disappointments, discoveries, and the resulting deep-seated urge to categorize and classify individuals and situations. Decoding these social tendencies that assign an alternate interpretation in which tradition and convention deviate reveals a subtext. As a result, Hardy aims at the degeneracy of societal structures and customs that his characters must contend with rather than the degeneracy of actual themselves. He defies gender stereotypes by creating characters that represent a fresh and profoundly upsetting picture of masculinity and femininity in settings that go beyond the oppressive and depressing conventional sexual paradigm. Hardy expresses his dissatisfaction with this oppressive social system as a transitional writer. He was writing at a time when the presentation of women in the novels was mostly done to uphold the values of patriarchy. Hardy refused to compromise with these conventions and deplored the values of this inequitable society. Therefore, in his novels, he projected deviant women who try to break out of their stereotyped roles. He wanted to redefine the basis for family, sexual, marriage relationships, and women's role in society. This study deals with the theme of the deviation in Hardy's novel, The Return of the Native. It shows that the female protagonist deviates from social norms and how the background, i.e., society and nature, supports such deviation.

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