The Return of the Native is one of Hardy's most popular novels pioneering such themes as sexual politics, thwarted desire, and the conflicting demands of nature and society, a truly a truly modern novel written ahead of its time. Underlying these modern themes, however, is a classical sense of tragedy: Hardy scrupulously observes the three unities of time, place, and action and suggests that the struggles of those trying to escape their destinies will only hasten their destruction.
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