In the opening chapter of the book, the heath assumes its role as protagonist and never releases its hold throughout the novel. The heath assumes a character of vast grandeur and although ever changing at any given moment, it yet stands changeless in the fact of time. The heath was, as Hardy states, "majestic without severity, impressive without showiness, emphatic in its admonitions, grand in its simplicity." Like a Sibelius symphony it presented a hard and cold exterior to the stranger or the uninitiated and yet to him who knew and understood it was a broad, loving and powerful mother. Wordsworth has stated in one of his poems that:
"Two voices are there; one is of the sea, One of the mountains; lacks mighty voice;"
"The Return Of The Native,"
Manuscripts: Vol. 14
, Article 18.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/manuscripts/vol14/iss4/18