The Return of The Native: Book 2, Chapter 3 - Summary & Analysis

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Clym bid Goodnight to Eustacia

      On the Chilly evening Eustacia strained her eyes standing on the heath in the direction of Mrs. Yeobright's house. After sometimes she saw a man and two women walking along the road. She moved aside from their path. They went past her and the man bid her good-night. She also whispered something. It was Clym Yeobright who had just arrived and had spoken to her. But she failed to see his appearance.

Eustacia's Imagination about the Man from Paris

      Eustacia seemed to be very excited at Clym's arrival. That afternoon she had high imaginations about Clym who had come from Paris familiar with its charm. She was more excited as this man had already greeted her. In the night she made many inquiries to her grandfather about the absence of any social relations between them and the Yeobright's. Her grandfather told her that Mrs. Yeobright was a curate's daughter and one day accidentally he had offended her.

Half in Love with Clym

      That night, amidst the circumstances of Eustacia's life, the experience of having seen Clym was as beautiful as a dreamy affair for her, even though she failed to see his face. She was now half in love with the man. "The fantastic nature of her passion which lowered her as an intellect, raised her as a soul. For four consecutive days Eustacia tried to locate Clym by moving about on the heath but in vain. But then when she had lost all hopes, she finally got the opportunity to see him.

Critical Analysis

      The story now moves a step further. We find Eustacia very much interested in Clym. Clym becomes a fascinating figure for her because he was associated with the fashionable world of Paris. In this chapter, Eustacia's character is also revealed a bit, where we see that she is a highly imaginative and emotional person. She is already in love with Clym without even seeing him. Hardy tells us that if she had some self-control, she would have removed this emotion of love by sheer reasoning.

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