The Return of the Native
by Thomas Hardy
The Return of the Native Book 3, Chapter 2 Summary
The New Course Causes Disappointment
- The narrator informs us that Clym loves the heath and the people of Egdon, but that he doesn't have a good understanding of them and his school scheme isn't planned out very well.
- Clym is a huge part of the heath, but he doesn't quite understand his place in it.
- "Take all the varying hates felt by Eustacia Vye towards the heath, and translate them into love, and you have the heart of Clym" (2.2.7).
- Clym arrives home after his extended nature walk and announces to his mom that he's staying in Egdon.
- His mom flips out and thinks that he's throwing his life away.
- Clym gets all defensive and insists that his mom doesn't understand him.
- Mrs. Yeobright says that she understands he's giving up a lot of money to come home and live like a loser. She also tells him his school idea is dumb.
- Clym says that money isn't everything.
- Then Christian Cantle shows up with some gossip.
- Apparently, Susan Nunsuch decided that Eustacia is a witch and stabbed her with a needle in church to see if she bled or not.
- Clym and his mom are upset by the news.
- Humphrey comes in and corroborates Christian's story.
- Clym is now concerned about his school plan since the residents of Egdon are more ignorant than he thought.
- Later that day Sam stops by and gossips about Eustacia some more.
- The Vyes' water bucket fell into their well and they can't get it out. Clym offers to go with Sam to help drag it back out, and finally to get a look at Eustacia.
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