I didn't pay attention to much in high school but this book, and the tools by which to grasp it, has stayed with me through a lifetime. The heath and the people who were more of it than of the world, has remained vivid and powerfully romantic to keep me coming back to Hardy and other English authors of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The result has been part of the greatest joys in a life of reading. Eustacia Vye is a magnificent heroine, and her power, ardor and ultimate destiny as perhaps in excess of the more common neighbors is intense and pagan and unforgettable. The heath is a pre-christian place, remote not only from civilization but from all that is ordinary. In a small country, with massive social rules, the heath is alive and in posession of a soul. They keep the ancient traditions of festivals and bonfires, the people even speak their own language. The book has enhanced battles with the elements that seem to be offended and punishing ill-fated love. No one who reads this book will forget the red man, seeming to be a favorite of those pagan gods. This is a romance that is eternal. Read it again, or read it with an inner openness and it will repay your time and soul.