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The Return of the Native

The Return of the Native

by Thomas Hardy

Analysis: Three Act Plot Analysis

For a three-act plot analysis, put on your screenwriter’s hat. Moviemakers know the formula well: at the end of Act One, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict. During Act Two, she is farthest away from her goals. At the end of Act Three, the story is resolved.

Act I

Books 1 and 2: The beginning until Eustacia and Clym get married.

Act II

Books 3 and 4: Eustacia and Clym's marriage goes increasingly south, Mrs. Yeobright dies in the novel's climax, and Clym and Eustacia part after a huge argument.

Act III

Books 5 and 6: It's the death and marriage section. Half the cast dies tragically, and the rest get endings ranging from OK to happy.

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