Study Guide

The Return of the Native Book 5, Chapter 7

By Thomas Hardy

Book 5, Chapter 7

The Night of the Sixth of November

  • Eustacia has decided to make a run for it with Damon.
  • She spends her night preparing and goes for a walk to calm her nerves.
  • Susan Nunsuch sees Eustacia and glares at her. Johnny is sick and Susan thinks that the "witch" Eustacia is to blame.
  • Eustacia sends a signal to Damon and then goes home to wait for the time to leave.
  • Meanwhile a servant drops a letter off from Clym. Grandfather Vye accepts it, but since he thinks Eustacia has gone to bed, he drops the letter off downstairs.
  • Late that night Eustacia sneaks out, but isn't very quiet about it.
  • Her grandfather hears her crying and calls after her, but is unable to find her.
  • To make matters worse, it's a dark and stormy night (really) and he can't see where she's gone.
  • Eustacia doesn't notice the letter on her way outside.
  • Eustacia wanders outside in the rain and is all miserable.
  • She starts to panic about her plan since she has no money and will be totally reliant upon Damon – not the most dependable chap, as we've seen.
  • She's basically one step away from becoming Damon's mistress.
  • Feeling miserable and theatrical, Eustacia delivers a big monologue and asks God and the universe why they made her life so miserable.
  • Meanwhile, Susan is at home practicing some voodoo on her little Eustacia doll.