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.