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The Return of the Native
by Thomas Hardy
Clym Yeobright Timeline and Summary
Clym returns home after spending years working as a diamond merchant in Paris. He wants to become a teacher and open up a school in Egdon for the locals. His mother isn't happy with this plan and the two argue. Meanwhile, Clym meets Eustacia at the Christmas party play. He finally has a proper conversation with her when he goes to help her out after she loses access to her well water. The two fall in love and Clym begins sneaking around with Eustacia. He continues to study and fight with his mother. Clym marries Eustacia and the newlyweds live in a small cottage while he prepares to start his teaching career. But Clym ends up going partially blind from excessive reading. Clym becomes a poor furze-cutter and his relationship with Eustacia goes downhill. Finally Clym decides to reconcile with his mom, but she dies that night. Clym goes nearly insane with grief and is obsessed with his mother's death. After investigating, he learns the truth about Eustacia's role in his mother's death and finds out that another man was in his home the day his mom died. Clym goes ballistic and fights with Eustacia. She leaves him to return to her grandfather. After a while, Clym decides to reconcile with Eustacia and he writes her a letter. But it's too late – Eustacia tries to run off with Damon and ends up drowning. Clym is devastated. He moves back to his mom's house and invites his cousin Thomasin, Damon's widow, to move in with him. Clym eventually becomes a preacher and lives a lonely life.