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The Return of the Native

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.