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

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Chapter II: The New Course Causes Disappointment


Clym's Affection for the Heath

      Clym Yeobright always believed in simple living and high thinking. He preferred, mild and meager living in many respects, brotherliness with his kind. He was thoroughly familiar with Egdon Heath, its scenes, its substance and with its odors. He was born and brought up there. He is said to be a product of the Heath, and his limits of life had been painted by the Heath.

Mrs. Yeobright Opposes Clym's Plan

      Clym informed his mother about his intention not to go back to Paris where his life was getting monotonous, but to become a schoolmaster to the poor and ignorant and teach them many new things. This news made Mrs. Yeobright upset as Clym was holding a post of trust and respect in Paris. But Clym had already made up his mind.

Eustacia Pricked with a Needle

      Christian Cantie suddenly came to Mrs. Yeobright's house with a surprising news. At the church Susan Nunsuch has pricked Eustacia Vye with a needle because she thought that Eustacia being a witch had caused much trouble to Susan's children. Eustacia had fainted after giving a scream of pain. Clym learned that Eustacia was a good-looking woman who led a lonely life and he guessed that she would be the same person who disguised herself in the mumming play on the occasion of the Christmas party in their house.

Critical Analysis

      This chapter gives us the information of Clym's decision and Mrs. Yeobright's disappointment. Hardy has described Clym's love for the Heath very vividly. He said, "Take all the varying hates felt by Eustacia Vye towards the heath, and translate them into loves, and you have the heart of Clym." In this chapter, we also find Clym to be curious about Eustacia and he wants to get acquainted with her.

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