The Return of The Native: Book 3, Chapter 1 - Summary & Analysis

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CHAPTER I: My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is


Clym's Boyhood

      Clym Yeobright was an experienced man from his childhood and that could be fully depicted from his face. He was believed to be a promising individual in his childhood. When his father expired, he was helped by a neighboring gentleman who had sent him to Budmnouth from where he went to London and later to Paris where he settled down.

Clym's Plan

      Everybody started wondering about Clym's long stay in his home and why he was not going back to Paris. Then, Clym told them about his boring and useless life in Paris. He said that the type of work he was doing in Paris, "was the idlest, vainest, most effeminate business that ever a man could be put to". He now wanted to take up some rational occupation by studying a little and then by starting a school and be useful to the people of Egdon. When Clym left after informing the rustics of his project, Fairway was in full doubt of how much Clym. would be able to carry out his plan.

Critical Analysis

      This chapter does not move the plot any further but throws some light on Clym's character. Hardy says that in Clym's face, one could see dimly the typical countenance of the future. In this chapter, we also get an example of Hardy's habit of making comments on persons, events and situations in the course of his narration of the story.

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