Country on Hardy’s narrator often notes subtle details of the weather and of the small creatures that populate the heath: rabbits, ants, and snakes, or, in one place, independent worlds of ephemerons … passing their time in mad carousal, some in the air, some on the hot ground and vegetation, some in the tepid and lndividual and Community in The Return of the Native 105 stringy water of a nearly dried pool (297). Wh en Mrs. Yeobright looks up the valley of the heath toward the distant church where her son Clym, against her wishes, is being married to Eustacia Vye, the narrator notes that the valley was alive with butterflies, and with grasshoppers whose husky noises on every side formed a whispered chorus (238). Hardy had sharp ears as well as sharp eyes. Country 2016.

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