The Return of the Native
by Thomas Hardy
The Return of the Native Book 4, Chapter 6 Summary
A Conjuncture, and Its Result upon the Pedestrian
- The same day, Wildeve decides to just go visit Eustacia. He figures they're related by marriage and he can visit his extended family if he wants.
- Sure, Wildeve, sure.
- So Eustacia lets him inside and they chat.
- Clym is conked out taking an afternoon nap.
- The ex-lovers discuss Clym and how terrible Eustacia's life is.
- Wildeve hints that she brought this all on herself since she didn't wait around for him.
- Eustacia tells him to shut up, and Wildeve agrees that he made a mistake with Thomasin.
- Wildeve hints that he'll never be happy until he has Eustacia back again, but she opts to ignore the implications of that.
- Suddenly they hear a knock at the door.
- It's Mrs. Yeobright.
- Eustacia peeks out the window at her and then panics. She refuses to answer the door since Damon is there.
- So the two decide to go out back after they notice that Clym is starting to wake up.
- Eustacia figures he'll just wake up and answer the door.
- Wildeve sneaks off and Eustacia hangs out for a bit before going back inside.
- She's horrified to see that Clym is still asleep and that Mrs. Yeobright is no longer outside.
- Meanwhile, Mrs. Yeobright is stumbling away, devastated.
- She saw Eustacia at the window and thinks that Eustacia and Clym deliberately refused to answer the door.
- Mrs. Yeobright is really depressed and continues walking along aimlessly.
- She comes across little Johnny and thinks aloud about her son.
- Johnny is confused and is worried since she seems ill.
- Johnny finally leaves and Mrs. Yeobright doesn't seem to care.
- She tells him to tell his mom that "you have seen a broken-hearted woman cast off by her son" (4.6.104).
- Mrs. Yeobright continues to wander around and stops again to watch an ant colony.
- She lies down on the grass and watches a bird fly in the air.
- Her thoughts travel back to Clym's house.
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