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Landscape refers to all visible features be it flora or fauna of an area of countryside, which are considered in terms of the aesthetic appeal. Both the novels “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro and “Far From the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy are set in a countryside landscape. This essay is going to focus on the landscape from the above two novels as a thematic device. In the novel “Never Let Me Go” the landscape appears as a thematic device especially since the Hailsham House children have fears of the woods.
This means the landscape contains numerous trees and have no buildings. This is what we can call a rural area where buildings are space and the only thing that can be seen is a lot of trees. The novel is seen to be introduced in those days when parents were stricter to their kids. The parents did not allow their kids to go out playing on their own.
There were various myths that further boosted the fear for kids going in the forests (Harrison 1). For example, the myths such as a boy’s body being found with feet and hands removed were going around.
What is expected in the woods is darkness and the threatening fringe of the trees. This cast a shadow in the whole school where Hailsham children were attending. There was a notion that a pupil who offends others may be hauled out of the bed at midnight and forced through the window. The pupil should then be forced to stare at the darkness in the woods without knowing what he or she might see.
The children of Hailsham seem to have a nice life and they considerably exercised the power of self-expression via art. The fear of the woods often reflects in a distorted, but rather fundamentally accurate way, their fate. The children are organ donors such as Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy who the novel concentrates more on. The primary purpose of Hailsham is preparing them for the future where they will be dependable and steady to give donations from one to the next. Therefore, the landscape is crucial in keeping the children calm at school and without conflicts with others.
“Never Let Me Go” is mainly unthinkable as an urban narrative since it involves a rural setup where there are more trees. We see that both Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy have different characters but are held up together by the landscape. The children of Hailsham lack the understanding of the globe. This is because the clones are not allowed to know more by their makers and this gives a reason for the rural setting of the novel. It is clear that in the rural landscape particularly in the woods, they will just gaze to trees with various myths that prohibit them from exploring the world. This forces the children to stay inside their school making the donations convenient since they are already available when needed. For example, we see Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth staring through a window of an office. It was during their lunch break, and they are fascinated by the clean, modern space that they see. Tommy comments reverently about the office workers who do not go out either. He says that the clones are focused in looking at the society that created them and fails to understand the economic and social structures.
The landscape in the novel is used to shield the students from the real understanding of the fate they have and from the whole world. They are made just to focus on their life in school. The use of landscape and the place of the characters shape the worldview of the novel. Through Tommy, Ruth, and Kathy we can learn that their characters while in school are shaped by their countryside. The three who are bound by love tries to understand what is holding them behind and from a real understanding of the world. The landscape contributes significantly why they fail to understand the rules set in the school. The fear instilled in them by the woods makes them recognize Hailsham as the only place they are safe. The purpose of the clones being kept in woods is just to serve the purpose of giving organs to donors without questioning.
The physical landscape sets an emotional landscape to the clones such that they just stay in their school comfortable. “Never Let Me Go” is a novel that can make one to have sex, dance, and run a marathon among others to convince oneself that you are alive. The time period of the novel “Never Let Me Go” affect the use of landscape in various ways. We find that those landscapes that are hidden immensely in the woods are the ones used to perform what we can call inhumane actions when we focus on the life of Tommy, Ruth, and Kathy. The rural landscape where the schools of the clones is located would have been used for farming activities. In most cases, the rural areas are very productive when cultivated well.
The landscape can be used for wildlife preservation especially for the species that are feared to extinct in the future. The landscape can as well be used for planting more trees to reduce the effect of global warming that has been posing a significant threat to human life. The landscape can be used as the homestead for people who are much congested in the urban areas. But instead, we find the landscape being used for bringing up clones and hide them from the real world. The clones are never educated pertaining real life despite being taught and writing various essays. The work that they are given at school is just for making them busy to avoid them from thinking about their future fate in life. This awaits them to produce the organs needed for donation conveniently and reliably.
In the novel “Far Froom the Madding Crowd”, Thomas Hardy uses the landscape of Wessex. We easily identify the scenery and the towns described in the novel, which are located in southeast of England. This landscape incorporates Dorset and the counties surrounding. Many of the characters live in those landscapes with various struggles in their life. The landscape in the narrative is the natural world where Hardy establishes the reciprocal relationship that exists between the characters and the environment (Borders 1). This landscape of Wessex, demonstrate the changing human positions in the post-Darwinian period. Hardy depicts the natural world in such a manner that portrays the appearance of different people. The technique that Hardy uses to display landscape removes the sense of human authority and place humans within a different landscape of the natural world under the rule. This means that the natural world is the one that selects those to live and those to extinct going by the Darwin theory. The landscape demonstrates the theory of natural selection. The natural world is the one that holds the fate of various characters echoing stress evolutionary place upon survival, chance, and extinction. The story in the novel travails about Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) who got the attention of three men.
These three men are represented by a different landscape that shows their way of living. The first man is a poor shepherd Gabriel Oak (Bullhead’s Matthias Schoenaerts) who has livestock. The landscape that he come from was rural where he would find pastures for his livestock. The second man is Troy (Michael Sheen) who is a wealthy, middle-aged Boldwood. This means that the man comes from the urban area. The third man is Tom Sturridge, who is a dashing soldier. Fanny Robin (Juno Temple) is a spoiler. The narrative “Far From the Madding Crowd” is unthinkable urban narrative since most of its scenes are in the woods. For every scene particularly when Bathsheba is meeting with his suitor’s nature is always there and keeps watching calmly over the drama that comes out of the human lives. Bathsheba is much attracted to Oak, who tells her the truth every time they met. Bathsheba met with Troy in the dark where more urgent desires seem to come out. The raging passions of Bathsheba mainly happen at night in the landscape where there is a lot of darkness.
This landscape is non-other but in the forests where there are no lighting. It in this landscape that Troy manages to speak to Bathsheba without hiding anything. Some of the suitors like Troy only appears at night while Oak is always there during the daytime and at night as well. Therefore, landscape, as portrayed by Hardy, is an important element since brings other features that give some character courage to express their feelings. If the narrative would have been an urban narrative, we would not have enjoyed the true behavior of some characters, which makes the difference, especially among the Bathsheba suitors. The use of the landscape and the specific position of the characters shape the narrative “Far From the Madding Crowd.” The three suitors met Bathsheba in the landscape of Wessex whereby some preferred meeting her at night. In fact, we learn the true behaviors of characters due to the use of landscape. The geographical topography where there are trees makes the place dark at night.
This darkness is what Troy prefers when meeting with Bathsheba since he knew that he can do whatever he wished without being seen. This shows that Troy was just a pretender and wanted to take advantage of Bathsheba by utilizing his wealth. We see that it is the landscape that threatens abrupt change of lives for the characters. For example, Oak’s sheep are destroyed by the confluence occurrence of circumstances that include inexperienced sheepdog, chalk pit, and rotted rail that were adjacent to his land. It is only in the rural landscape that such things can be found since the land seem to be deserted by people. Only the livestock owners like Oak take the advantage of the land since they feed their livestock there with a lot of pastures. Thus, the landscape in the narrative serves as an important factor that echoes the Darwin’s theory of natural selection where only the fittest survives.
The narrative “Far From the Madding Crowd” affects the use of landscape as depicted by Hardy. It is clear from the novel that the landscape of Wessex favors livestock keeping, which is practiced by some characters in the book such as Oak. The Wessex landscape is used for rearing animals. Also, the landscape favors the occurrence of various problems among them being Oak losing his animals. Troy is a wealthy man but makes use of the rural landscape as the meeting ground with Bathsheba. The presence of trees makes the landscape appear dark at night, which is the appropriate time that we see Troy meeting Bathsheba. Troy with Bathsheba at night would have done anything since he is not being seen by anyone and even Bathsheba cannot see him directly to his eyes.
Robin usually met Bathsheba during daytime while Oak would have met her at any time. But we see that the landscape is what set a difference among the suitors of Bathsheba. We see that some just wanted to take an advantage of Bathsheba such as Troy while others loved her seriously such as Oak. The natural world seemed to rule over the human beings since it is the one that threatens the life of human and animals. After Oak’s livestock had died in the forest, his life was threatened and was forced to go out begging. The humans have no influence on the natural world and it is the one that shapes their place of character.
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