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Return of the Native Summary As the novel opens, the wild landscape of Edgon Heath broods alone, save

for an old man walking home. The old man, Captain Vye, passes a reddleman, Diggory Venn. Diggory is discreetly transporting a distressed young woman. She is Thomasin Yeobright, humiliated that her wedding to Damon Wildeve was halted due to an issue with the marriage licence in a nearby community. The truth is more complicated, though. Wildeve is still infatuated with his former partner, the passionate and mysteriousEustacia Vye, who lives on the heath by circumstance but wants nothing more than to escape it. She lights a bonfire that evening to draw him to her. The fire attracts only minimal attention, since there are bonfires all along the heath to commemorate November 5th. Wildeve correctly interprets her signal, and meets her. When Diggory learns of their liaison, he plans to intervene on Thomasins behalf. He has long loved her, and though she once rejected his proposal because of his lower status, he is dedicated to ensuring her happiness, even with another man. Just as Eustacias affection for Wildeve begins to wane, an exciting prospect returns to Egdon. Clym Yeobright is a local man who has made his way in the world as a diamond merchant in Paris. His visit prompts Eustacia to facilitate a meeting between them, which eventually results in a mutual attraction. Eustacia makes her disinterest known to Wildeve, and he finally marries Thomasin. She is disappointed, however, to discover that Clym has rejected his cosmopolitan lifestyle in hopes of founding a school on the heath. Hopeful that she can change his mind, Eustacia agrees to marry him. Clyms mother, Mrs. Yeobright, disapproves of both Thomasin's and Clym's weddings, and is further irked that her son Clym would refuse to exploit his intelligence and talent away from the heath. She refuses to attend his wedding. Clym's studies in schoolkeeping are so intense that his eyesight fails, and he is forced to take a job as a furze cutter to generate an income. Eustacia is further disappointed in Clym's choice of a low career, and realizes she might never escape the heath. Her feelings for Wildeve are reawakened, however, when she learns that he has inherited a fortune, and plans to travel the world. Wildeve visits the Yeobright house one day, but Clym is asleep. Eustacia is shaken by his visit, and then confused when Mrs. Yeobrght suddenly arrives on her own unannounced visit. Eustacia ignores her knocks, and, believing she has been spurned by her son, Mrs. Yeobright attempts the long journey back to her home, but passes out and dies on the heath from a snakebite. Clym holds first himself, then Eustacia, responsible for Mrs. Yeobrights death. Spurned by his grief and hatred, Eustacia returns to her grandfathers house, and Wildeve agrees to help her escape Egdon. She sets an evening for her escape, and does not cancel the plan even when that evening proves to be impossibly stormy. That night, Thomasin, Diggory, Clym and Captain Vye search for the missing couple, but discover only tragedy after Eustacia seems to drown herself and Wildeve dies in the rescue attempt. Clym, too, is wounded in his rescue attempt, but survives. Thomasin initially moves in with Clym and her daughter after the tragedy. Diggory Venn returns as a wealthy and dependable farmer, and she agrees to marry him. Clym never transcends his guilt and shame, and eventually turns to preaching to fill his solitude. About Return of the Native

Though not one of Hardy's best-known novels, The Return of the Native remains firmly of his canon, and is a dense summation of the preoccupations that run through all of his work. The Return of the Native was first printed as serial fiction in Belgravia magazine, from January to December 1878. Each installment featured a one page illustration by Arthur Hopkins, brother of the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. The two men corresponded extensively over the detail of the illustrations, to ensure that they properly complemented Hardys intentions. The novel was also serialised in the U.S. in Harpers New Monthly Magazine, from February 1878 to January 1879. The novel was first published as one volume in a print run of one thousand copies, in November of 1878. It was not a big seller - over 100 copies of this original print run remained unsold five years later. By the time it was published in this form, the story had gone through dramatic revisions, and Hardy again revised the novels in 1895 and 1912. The Return of the Native was not as well received as Hardys earlier works, but has remained a part of the literary canon. Hardy initially encountered some controversy when he tried to get the novel published in the magazine Cornhill. Its editor, Leslie Stephen, could obviously not pre-read the later segments before agreeing to publish it, and was concerned from the early segments about the inappropriateness of the suggestion of premarital sex between Eustacia and others. This is why Hardy turned to Belgravia. It is believed that Stephen was given an early draft of the novel, with several character and plot ideas that Hardy later amended for the final serialisation and print run. Many of the characters had different names in the early draft: Clym was called Hugh, and his surname varied between Britton and Bretton. Wildeve had the name Toogood, and Eustacia was named Avice. Further, Hardy significantly revised the relationships between the characters. Diggory Venn originally existed as the grandchild of Grandfer Cantle and the nephew of Christian Cantle. Johnny Nunsuch was called Johnny Orchard, and as a result was not directly related to Susan Nunsuch. Captain Vye was Lieutenant Vye, Eustacias father rather than grandfather. Most controversial was the original idea that Thomasin and Clym would be siblings. Eustacias character was also more heavily linked to the supernatural in the early drafts. References to lines spoken by the witches in William Shakespeares Macbeth were cut upon revision, and Eustacias soul went from being described as "lurid red" to "flame like." There still remained, however, supernatural elements which some readers may have found troubling; Susan Nunsuchs construction of Eustacia's effigy is an example. This episode is not directly linked to Eustacias death, nor is it mentioned again, but it does happen immediately before she dies. This implies that Hardys revisions involved tempering the original implication of links with a mystical, even devilish, underworld. Some of the revisions certainly affected the sincerity and motivations of various characters. Clym Yeobright was originally envisioned as a country parson, and his travels took him to Budmouth rather than to Paris. This idea is frankly more believable than the decision Hardy ultimately made, that Clym had been a diamond salesman. This latter vocation is at odds with his scant understanding of human wants and desires after returning to Egdon, but was likely given as added explanation for Eustacia's fascination with him. Similarly, Wildeve was made more respectable in the final draft. In earlier drafts, more attention was paid to Wildeve's "lady-killing career," and Wildeves treatment of Thomasin at the beginning was only one of several times he had toyed with her affections (33). Further, his manipulation of

Christian in the gambling scene was also revised to seem more serendipitous than originally planned. The novel's original structure alluded to Greek tragedy by using a five act format and elevated central characters, but revisions diminished the scale of this. Hardy reworked the five book structure, and limited the extent to which the Vyes and Yeobrights were socially superior. The final text is six books long, and these more affluent families are more integrated into the community: Captain Vye drinks at the Quiet Woman Inn, and Mrs Yeobright throws a Christmas celebration for the whole of Egdon. Whatever challenges Hardy faced in revising to ensure publication while still retaining the integrity of his original vision, The Return of the Native remains a compelling description of love and passion, and presents the noble and unchanging Wessex landsape as a backdrop to these perennial human dilemmas. Character List Eustacia The pretty raven-haired antagonist, Eustacia Vye is clearly out of place in Egdon. Daughter to a musician from Corfu, Eustacia lives with her grandfather after moving to Egdon from Budmouth. Town gossip suggests that Eustacia may be a witch. Eustacia loves passion rather than people, and her desire for a dramatic life has fatal consequences once Clym, the "native," returns to Egdon. Captain Vye A former seaman, Captain Vye lives with his granddaughter Eustacia on the heath, from which he can still sea the sea. Captain Vye enjoys entertaining the locals with his embellished stories of his life at sea. Though set in his ways in terms of tradition and education, he affords Eustacia a level of freedom that ultimately allows for tragedy. Wildeve Damon Wildeve, the pub owner of the Quiet Woman Inn, is a former engineer and lady's man who has split affections for Thomasin and Eustacia. Though he shares Eustacia's contempt for the heath, he is too fickle in his passions to make significant change in his life, and that vacillation is one of the causes of ultimate tragedy. Thomasin A innocent heath girl who nevertheless learns to think pragmatically, Thomasin Yeobright goes against her aunt Mrs. Yeobrights wishes when she marries Wildeve. She is cousin to Clym Yeobright. Thomasin eventually finds happiness with her dedicated admirer, Diggory Venn. Clym The protagonist of the novel, Clym Yeobright turns his back on a life in Paris to return to Egdon to become a schoolteacher. His idealistic ambitions are at odds with those around him, and his allure as a foreigner contrasted with his simple interests ultimately cause tragedy with Eustacia and his mother. Diggory Diggory Venn, or the reddleman, is a heroic figure. Spurned by Thomsin Yeobright, he becomes an outcast, taking on the lonely role of reddleman. Forever loyal to Thomasin, he covertly guards her welfare until he emerges back into her life as a wealthy farmer and finally finds happiness as her husband.

Mrs. Yeobright Aunt of Thomasin and mother to Clym, she is disappointed in both of their marriage choices. Though rather particular and snobbish, she loves her family very much, and they her. She dies tragically, estranged from her son and consumed with bitterness. Grandfer Cantle A sprightly but aged local who enjoys the social events in the parish. He is grandfather to Christian Cantle. Christian Cantle A superstitious young man used to add comic relief in the text. Christian is asked by Mrs. Yeobright to transport her guineas to Clym and Thomasin. Fairway One of the local labourers, Timothy Fairway cuts the mens hair on Sundays, which provides an important social ritual and a chance for local gossip. Susan Nunsuch Mother of Johnny, Susan is a superstitious Christian who believes Eustacia Vye is a witch. She pokes her with a needle in church, and makes a wax effigy of Eustacia right before the latter dies. Johnny Nunsuch A young man believed by his mother to be bewitched by Eustacia Vye. He tends Eustacias signal fire to Wildeve, and carries Mrs. Yeobrights final words. Charley A stable boy who is obsessed with Eustacia. He allow her his role in the mummer's play, and later takes care of her after her estrangement from Clym. Olly The local besom maker, Olly Dowden dances with Grandfer Cantle at the November 5th bonfire, and escorts Mrs. Yeobright to meet the reddleman. Humphrey One of the furze cutters. It is Humphrey's parents whom Timothy Fairway saw had signed the marriage register just before he did. Rachel Rachel is Thomasin's servant who loses her mistress's glove and thereby sets in motion the final pairing of Thomasin and Diggory. baby Eustacia The baby daughter to Thomasin and Wildeve. Glossary of Terms "from Nebuchadnezzar to the Swaffam tinker" a British idiom, referring to any phrase or situation that references or includes both the highest and lowest classes of society "make a round 'O'" a British expression meaning to write clearly

Ahasuerus the Jew Known as the "wandering Jew," Ahasuerus was condemned to wander the earth without rest. barrow prehistoric burial mound casque helmet cima recta/cyma recta an architectural term referring to the curve formed by two arcs with parallel ends; also known as ogee faggot bundle of sticks or branches, bound together to use for fuel furze very spiny and dense evergreen shrub with fragrant golden-yellow flower heath croppers wild ponies Lammas tide a harvest festival mummer an actor involved in masked performances, especially of a type associated with Christmas and popular in England in the 18th and early 19th centuries ooser a Dorsetshire horned devil mask, often been linked to witchcraft pattens wooden overshoes pis aller a French idiom, meaning the last resort Scyllaeo-Charybdian position an idiom derived from Greek mythology, indicating any situation in which both options spell potential doom or loss skimmity ride a public parade mean to mock or humiliate an unfaithful or nagging spouse slittering maid a young woman of marriagable age stays corset Tartarean situation an expression meaning a dreadful or hellish predicament; refers to the place that Zeus imprisoned the Titans in Greek mythology

twanky peevish, put out Major Themes The Heath The heath is more than just a dramatic backdrop to the action; it is an integral part of the plot and character development, and a constant thematic symbol. Hardy devotes the novel's entire first chapter to describing the timeless landscape of Egdon heath. What defines it most of all is its timelessness - it is much bigger than any human drama, and hence might its natural forces swallow those humans. The heath can also be viewed as an antagonist in the story, working against the key characters to bring about their tragic fates. Mrs. Yeobright, exhausted by her long toil to Clyms house, collapses in the darkness on her return, and is bitten by a snake. Wildeve and Eustacia both drown as they plan to flee the heath forever. Clym becomes a preacher, extolling the virtues of a world beyond the heath. Only Thomasin and Diggory, who are truly at ease with their surroundings, endure. The heath is a place for lasting sentiment, not fiery passion or intellectual ideals. Those who are able to tune to its rhythms and pace remain. Those who feel they can live beyond its power are destroyed by it. Eustacia views it as an explicit antagonist - "Tis my cross, my shame and will be my death" - and yet falls in attempting to defeat it (69). Most of all, the heath is an expression of Hardy's tragic sense, which suggests that time and the world have little use for the squabbles of humans and will thereby negate their efforts time and again. Superstition Superstition permeates the text, and is connected with the death of Eustacia and possibly Mrs. Yeobright. In the most basic sense, superstition exists through the heath locals. So tied to nature, they are naturally drawn more towards pagan rituals than towards the transcendent message of Christianity. They judge their lives according to the cycles of the heath, and hence believe that strange forces beyond their understanding rule the world. Many locals, Susan Nunsuch most of all, believe Eustacia is a witch. Susan brings a fearful dimension to their charge, both stabbing Eustacia with a pen and then later making a wax effigy that she burns. Hardy was cautious to avoid being labelled immoral, and so he never extrapolates on Susan's suspicions, which could be based in the possibility of Eustacia's sexuality. Both of Susan's actions are based around witch-lore. A witch would supposedly not bleed if pricked, and an effigy works akin to a voodoo doll, by transferring pain to another. Eustacia's death also evokes witch-lore, since a suspected witch was thrown in water. If she floated, she was vindicated, and if she drowned, she was proven witch. Tragically, Eustacia floats but it brings her no benefit, since she dies. In surviving and dedicating himself to Christianity, Clym suggests Hardy's dismissal of such lore, though the author never goes so far as to outright denounce any of the ancient superstitions suggested in the text. Tradition One of the novel's inherent conflicts is that between the declining, traditional attitudes of Dorset and the modern world that was replacing it. Hardys work often highlighted the waning traditions

and ideals of his age, and there are many examples where custom and folklore feature as central to the narrative. Part of the novel's appeal is the way it records these dying customs. For instance, Diggory Venns trade as a reddleman represents the dying skills of the region: He was one of a class rapidly becoming extinct in Wessex, filling at present in the rural world the place which, during the last century, the dodo occupied in the world of animals. He is a curious, interesting and nearly perished link between obsolete forms of life and those which generally prevail. (6) Though Diggory does dismiss the traditional fears - that a reddleman stole children - he nevertheless dedicates himself to this ancient trade. Hardy also records the decline in church attendance in rural regions like Egdon, and discusses the history and function of the mummers. In terms of the latter, he explains how repeated tradition can lead to perfunctory execution and reception, as opposed to the true passion of a regenerated custom. There are some customs that Hardy connects to more ancient customs. Hardy believed the November 5th bonfires were a continuance of Druid tradition more than a commemoration of Gay Fawkes. Further, the May Day celebrations seems to have a primal draw, since it is those which finally bring Thomasin and Diggory together. Education The Return of the Native presents a range of views on education without ever delivering a final conclusion in the issue. As an extraordinary resident of the heath whose intelligence allowed him to explore the greater world, Clym is a strong proponent for education. In fact, he wants to explore a new type of education with the residents of the heath, and is drawn home for that purpose. However, he confronts both reticence and outright opposition to these noble plans, and ends up as a preacher a vocation more associated with tradition than modernity - than as a teacher. To some extent, Clym is oblivious to the nature of those he wishes to educate. They are not only not ready for his ideas, but are also fundamentally opposed to them. Captain Vye gives a reflective instance of their skepticism when he describes education as valuable only towards encouraging the young to engage in offensive graffiti. In fact, Hardy explores how Clym's natural good-looks stand in opposition to these modern ideas of education exemplified in his intellect: He already showed that thought is a disease of flesh, and indirectly bore evidence that ideal physical beauty is incompatible with emotional development and a full recognition of the coil of things. (109) It is only really within the spiritual world that he is finally able to find solace. His ideal of "instilling high knowledge into empty minds" is unrealistic to the point of arrogance, an indicator that his learning has not helped him to connect with his fellow man (160). Even as preacher, his "moral lectures" maintain a didactic air that repulse some listeners. He continues to speak but not to listen, which gives an implicit criticism of the educational instinct.

Clyms most significant education is what he learns on the heath - that the world is controlled by large forces beyond our understanding. Romantic love The quest for romantic love amongst the nature-centered heath affects many characters, Eustacia most of all. She is desperate to discover the passion of romantic love. Early in the text, she expresses that she seeks, "A blaze of love, and extinction, [which] was better than a lantern glimmer of the same which should last long years (56). She wants a quick burst of passion, rather than the pragmatism of a sustaining respect and passion. This desire helps explain her tragic demise - she is too quick to romanticize a situation, ignoring its reality. She ignores the fact that Wildeve mostly repulses her, to twice become attracted to him, and ignores Clym's stated intentions to justify her acceptance of his proposal. This conflict creates a sense of dissatisfaction that has tragic consequences. Clym is attracted to Eustacia on so many levels, but ultimately chooses a respectable, simple life with her. The passion and romanticism that defined him on his return is quickly traded for a more pragmatic personality that disappoints Eustacia. His tragic flaw here is his blindness to what she needs, and they both pay for it. Finally, Thomasin begins with a romantic passion for Wildeve, but ultimately realizes the greater wisdom of pragmatism. When they finally marry, she is no longer enamored with him, but rather has matured to realize that she must protect her reputation over her romantic pride. The Oedipus complex Clym has an intense and turbulent relationship with his mother, which evokes the Oedipus complex, so-named by Freud because of the ancient play Oedipus Rex. Simply put, the Oedipus complex describes an unhealthy love-hate attraction between a mother and son. Mrs. Yeobright has clearly had great ambitions for her son. We see her disappointment when he reveals that he has left Paris to return to Egdon. She cannot appreciate his return to Egdon as a step forward; instead, she vicariously considers it as sign of failure, asking him, "But it is right, too, that I should try to lift you out of this life into something richer, and that you should not come back again, and be as if I had never tried at all?" (140). This vicarious association further explains her contempt for Eustacia. She cannot understand that he is attracted to her instead of finer Parisian ladies. The relationship between Clym and his mother starts to sour after he begins to court Eustacia. He chooses to give Eustacia a gift a charnel pot unearthed from the burial mound which was originally intended for his mother. Though all of these attitudes can be explained, they together suggest an intimate and intense connection. Clym is aware of the challenges to his happiness, and refers to the competing areas of his life as "antagonistic growths." Interestingly, his relationship with his mother is the first he lists, before his wife and vocation. He is forced into making a choice between Eustacia and his mother, and the regrets over this situation lead to a romantic demise for almost all involved. Constancy In the novel, characters who display constancy are rewarded. Like the unswerving firmness of the Egdon landscape, those who remain true to their ideals endure. Diggory Venn, as example, is

unwavering in his love for Thomasin. He adapts his lifestyle and means of income to win her affections, and patiently remains her faithful champion. Similarly, Charley the stable boy does not waver in his affection for Eustacia. He gives her his mummers role, and later cares for her despite her attitudes towards him. Even the dim-sighted Clym can perceive Charley's love for his wife. Similarly, the heath folk are characterized by their adherence to unchanging tradition and folklore. They accept the heath as timeless and constant, and their kind perseveres for that reason. The characters more defined by transient, changing passions - Wildeve, Eustacia, and Clym - all suffer a tragic end. The heath, with its constancy, has little use for such dynamic human passions. Quotes and Analysis 1. It was, at present, a place perfectly accordant with mans nature neither ghastly, hateful, nor ugly: neither commonplace, unmeaning, nor tame; but, like man, slighted and enduring; and withal singularly colossal and mysterious in its swarthy monotony. Page 4 Here and elsewhere, Hardy describes the heath as a living entity a character in itself. The fashion in which he introduces the landscape serves to both comment on and affect the narrative. We see here that the heath tolerates its human residents, though it is unchanged by the trivial exercises of man. The heath remains a brooding, omniscient presence in the story, and seems to watch over the human events with a vegetable detachment. In many ways, it is a reflection of the world's tragic forces, which cause great pain to humans while having no interest in them. 2. "Well, and what did the last one say to ye? Nothing that cant be got over, perhaps, after all?" "'Get out of my sight, you slack-twisted, slim-looking maphrotight fool,' was the womans words to me." "Not encouraging, I own," said Fairway. Page 19 Hardy frequently uses gentle humor to add depth to his characters and his narrative. Here, Christian Cantle mourns the fact that he will never marry due to his misfortune of having been born on a moonless night. Timothy Fairway tries to lift Christian from his depression, but the cruel rejection which Christian recounts where the last girl he approached called him a lazy, thin, effeminate fool illustrates that Christian's dejected nature may be well-founded. This sense of a self-fulfilling prophecy also parallels the character traits in Clym and Eustacia that facilitate their tragic ends. Finally, this passage employes a specific dialect, which compounds the humor and adds to the effect of the bathos. 3. To be loved to madness - that was her great desire. Page 56 This quote, the narrator's observation, exemplifies Eustacia. She is attracted by drama, passion and intense emotion, but real love does not interest her. She does not understand the devotion of Diggory Venn to Thomasin, and cannot grasp the depth of feeling Charley holds for her.

Eustacias love life is composed of madness, in that she vacillates between her desire for Wildeve and then for the enigmatic Clym. Her desire to "be loved to madness" but to never be satisfied helps explain why she dies tragically. Eustacia wants to drive men mad with desire, and to be loved back, but she prefers the emotions to the people who feel them. 4. "Ah, theres too much of that sending to school in these days! It only does harm. Every gatepost and barns door you come to is sure to have some bad word or other chalked upon it by the young rascals: a woman can hardly pass for shame some times. If theyd never been taught how to write they wouldnt have been able to scribble such villainy. Their fathers couldnt do it, and the country was all the better for it." Captain Vye, Page 85 This is Captain Vyes view of education. It is evident that Eustacia is educated, as is Wildeve (a former engineer) and Clym (a former diamond merchant). However, locals like the Captain fear that learning only serves to pollute the world, rather than enhance it. He fears that education is changing those who live on the heath. The philosophy, while indicative of only one character's perspective, touches on the conflict between traditional custom and modern learning that Hardy explores through the novel. He never definitively presents his opinion, but instead seems to relate to both sides of the argument. 5. A traditional pastime is to be distinguished from a mere revival in no more striking feature than in this, that while in the revival all is excitement and fervor, the survival is carried on with a stolidity and absence of stir which sets one wondering why a thing that is done so perfunctorily should be kept up at all. Like Balaam and other unwilling prophets, the agents seem moved by an inner compulsion to say and do their allotted parts whether they will or no. This unweeting manner of performance is the true ring by which, in this refurbishing age, a fossilized survival may be known from a spurious reproduction. Page 96 When Hardy describes the mummer play, he explores one downside of tradition. By noting that an event carried on solely for the sake of tradition will prove mechanical and uninspiring, he makes an implicit argument for liveliness and spontaneity, which necessarily requires new ideas. His use of the archaic term "unweeting," meaning unwilling, complicates the matter, since it shows his love of the traditional. This perspective is one of many contradictory ones on the subject of tradition that Hardy explores both implicitly and explicitly through the novel. 6. He already showed that thought is a disease of flesh, and indirectly bore evidence that ideal physical beauty is incompatible with emotional development and a full recognition of the coil of things. Page 109 In this description of Clym Yeobright, Hardy illustrates that Clyms rugged good looks stand in opposition to his intellect and education. His determination to pursue further knowledge will only further his physical decline, evidenced by both his near-blindness and by his

withdrawal from ordinary human emotions. He is so devoted to the ideas of his education that he is blind to the way his wife and others are feeling, which hastens their tragic end. Yet again, Hardy presents a complicated perspective on the conflict between nature and learning, here suggesting that they cannot peacefully co-exist. 7. When Thomasin was tremblingly engaged in signing her name Wildeve had flung towards Eustacia a glance that said plainly, "I have punished you now." She replied in a low tone and he little thought how truly "You mistake; it gives me sincerest pleasure to see her your wife to-day." Page 131 Eustacia and Wildeve both use the wedding of Wildeve and Thomasin as a cruel way to hurt each other. Only Thomasin is oblivious to the bitterness that pervades her wedding day. Despite their attempts to torture each other, Eustacia and Wildeve remain bound until death, and by death. Perhaps it is their interest in selfish, fleeting passions that requires they die together. By polluting his wedding day, Wildeve ensures that he will not live the traditional heath life, while Eustacia ensures the same by flouting tradition in giving Thomasin away, a traditionally male role. 8. It was bitterly plain to Eustacia that he did not care much about social failure; and the proud fair woman bowed her head and wept in sick despair at the thought of the blasting effect upon her own life of that mood and condition in him. Page 199 This is the point at which Eustacia accepts that her dreams are not compatible with Clym's simple desires. Though he was always honest about his plans, she was able to delude herself into believing he wanted to return to Paris. Her sense of the heath as a captor allowed her to believe that anyone would leave if they could break free. However, when she hears Clym singing despite his physical ailment and the common activity of furze-cutting which he undertakes, she realizes that he is too happily bound to the heath. In the quote, she mourns not for the loss of her marriage, but for the loss of her potential happiness. She is destined by her contradictions to be unhappy, and hence to die tragically. 9. The instincts of Merry England lingered on here with exceptional vitality, and the symbolic customs which tradition has attached to each season of the year were yet a reality on Egdon. Page 298 Hardy frequently uses the setting of Egdon Heath to illustrate the declining beliefs, lifestyles and traditions of Wessex. His novel is as much a historical commentary on the south of England in the late 1840s as it is a story of love, betrayal and loss. Here, Hardy stresses the energy and beauty of the time, employing a wistful tone that suggests even the greatest human tragedies will be forgotten by the passage of time on the eternal heath. In particular, the "tradition" he references is that of the Maypole, which promises new life and happiness with the arrival of spring. Tellingly, Thomasin - who is glad to be tied to the heath - finds the

strength to explore a new love despite the grief that had gripped her for so long after Wildeve's death. It is natural to move on. 10. Some believed him, and some believed not; some said that his words were commonplace, others complained of his want of theological doctrine, while others again remarked that it was well enough for a man to take to preaching who could not see to do anything else. But everywhere he was kindly received, for the story of his life had become generally known. Page 315 As the novel concludes, it is evident that Clym has continued to be known and talked about after the great tragedy. However, he is still unable to accept that certain forces are beyond his control. Where Thomasin acknowledges the natural, eternal order and moves on from her grief, Clym remains self-absorbed and unable to transcend it. Though there is courage in taking the mantle of itinerant preacher, it reveals his desire to remain separated from the world, and to not attempt rejoining it. He continues to relate moral lessons, as though those might answer some of the eternal mysteries that have caused him so much pain. He will always remain on the outside, someone to judge or guess about, but never again to know intimately. Book First: The Three Women Summary Chapter 1- A Face on Which Time Makes but Little Impression The first chapter gives a detailed description of Egdon heath as it appears on the afternoon of November 5th. The landscape is magnificent and imposing, but nevertheless remains simple and gentle. Hardy describes the heath as the enemy of civilisation, since it perseveres without ever allowing significant change to itself. Hardy concludes that the heath is the most enduring of the natural environments. The human presence remains apparent there, however, in the form of both the ancient road and the burial mound, or barrow. Chapter 2 Humanity Appears upon the Scene, Hand in Hand with Trouble An old man - Captain Vye, though he is not identified until much later - walks along the heath road. He sees a red, covered wagon led by a driver stained equally red, and recognizes it as belonging to a reddleman a purveyor of red ochre, which was used to mark sheep. Hardy suggests that, having chosen such a solitary, outcast profession, the reddleman is clearly hiding from something in his life. The reddleman is Diggory, though he is not identified until later. After hearing noises from inside Diggory's van, the old man questions him as to who or what is in his van. The reddleman reveals that he is helping a woman who is currently asleep therein. He preserves the womans integrity by not allowing the old man to look upon her, and he will reveal no details as to her identity or situation. Diggory stops to rest his horses, and Captain Vye continues on. The reddleman observes the figure of a woman standing at the top of the barrow. As another person approaches her location, she

quickly leaves, after which several other figures arrive. It is obvious that the woman does not wish to be seen, and is unlikely to return to that spot. Chapter 3 The Custom of the County The scene shifts to the barrow summit that Diggory observed at the end of the previous chapter. The Egdon heath locals arrive on the barrow carrying furze faggots, which are bundles of gorse used as kindling. They are preparing to light a bonfire in celebration of Guy Fawkes Night, and there are similar bonfires in sight all along the horizon, beyond Rainbarrow and across the parishes. Grandfer Cantle, an old man, begins to sing, showing more enthusiasm than talent, while the other locals discuss the particulars of a wedding that had happened earlier that day. Details of the wedding - between Thomasin Yeobright and Damon Wildeve, yet to be introduced - and those involved come quick. The bride's cousin Clym is set to return to Egdon at Christmas, because Thomasin will be leaving her aunt and Clym's mother, Mrs. Yeobright, alone in the house after the ceremony. The whole union was surrounded by some controversy - Mrs. Yeobright had initially disapproved of Wildeve for her niece, and she announced as much one Sunday in church. Each member of the group reveals how infrequently he now attends church, since the journey does not seem worth the slim chance of redemption offered there Olly Dowden, the besom maker, reflects how the controversy has passed, and how the couple had only hours before wedded in a different parish. The group then considers Wildeves position. Though he currently runs the Quiet Woman inn and pub, he is a smart man who had once been an engineer before circumstances lowered his prospects. The group then briefly discusses the effect of learning on their community, and how education proves of minimal value there. Fairway, the barber, recalls how he read the marriage register on his own wedding day, only to discover the names of a couple whom he knew fought constantly. Christian Cantle, Grander Cantle's timid grandson, bemoans his inability to find a woman who will marry him. He believes this misfortune is an effect of having been born on a moonless night. The other locals tease Christian, claiming he will be prey to ghosts because he sleeps alone. They mention how a red ghost has recently been spotted on the heath. The subject changes again, and the locals agree to Grandfer Cantles proposal that they sing together for the new bride and groom after they return from the ceremony. As they observe the fires around the parish, they see one near Captain Vyes secluded home, and deduce it was lit by his granddaughter, Eustacia. Fairway and Susan Nunsuch dance noisily in the embers of the fire, along with Grandfer Cantle and Olly Dowden. The party is then startled by a visitor. It is the reddleman, looking for a shortcut to Mrs. Yeobrights house. He is guided on his way, but Mrs. Yeobright herself arrives at the bonfire ten minutes later. They explain that Diggory was looking for her, and that she will be able to meet him on his return. The remaining revellers set off to serenade the new couple, while Mrs. Yeobright leaves on her journey, now escorted by Olly Dowden because it is growing dark. Chapter 4 The Halt on the Turnpike Road Olly and Mrs Yeobright descend from the barrow. Olly indiscreetly questions Mrs. Yeobright about Thomasin's wedding, but Mrs. Yeobright dodges his questions. They reach Wildeves Patch, and part ways.

There, Mrs. Yeobright meets the reddleman, who is named for the first time as Diggory Venn. He explains that Thomasin is asleep in his van, after having earlier approached him in distress, claiming her wedding plans had gone awry. They wake Thomasin from her slumber, and she prepares to walk home with her aunt. Mrs. Yeobright recognises Venn, and asks why he has changed professions. He does not answer, but rather looks to Thomasin, who blushes, and it is obvious that she understands the reason. Chapter 5 Perplexity Among Honest People Thomasin tells her aunt about the morning's events. She and Wildeve could not be married because the marriage licence had accidentally been issued for another parish. Thomasin was embarrassed by Wildeve's error, and did not wish to travel back with him unmarried. Soon after setting off alone, she saw Diggory Venn and asked him for a lift. The two women reach the Quiet Woman inn, which is owned and managed by Wildeve. Hardy describes him as a man whose character repels men, but attracts women. They confront him there. Mrs. Yeobright expresses skepticism over the license issue, and Thomasin explicitly asks him if he intends to marry her. Wildeve sulkily reminds Thomasin that Mrs. Yeobright originally opposed the union, but now demands it in order to avoid scandal. Thomasin insists that Wildeve is incapable of causing pain, so she knows he will marry her. As they talk, the locals arrive and sing for the couple. Thomasin is initially terrified of suffering further humiliation through a "skimmity ride," which was used to punish a nagging or adulterous spouse. As a result, she and her aunt escape through a back window. The locals, however, are unaware that the marriage has not taken place, and so Wildeve gives them free drinks in support of a toast for the couple. Grandfer Cantle offers memories of Thomasin's father, and his musical talents. Christian Cantle grows morose when he thinks of Mr. Yeobright's sudden death, and quickly confesses his superstitious fears. The party notices a distant bonfire through the window of the inn, and Fairway speculates that it has something to do with the witch-like creature who live on the hill. The well-wishers leave, and Wildeve notices a bottle of mead which he had planned to give to one of the locals. He leaves the inn on the pretext of delivering it, though he is actually attracted by the sight of the fire, and an unspecified female whom he wishes to see there. Chapter 6 The Figure against the Sky On the barrow, Eustacia Vye waits alone. She is the figure Diggory had seen earlier. Hardy describes her as mournful. She uses a telescope to look out over the heath, and an hourglass to record time, strange because she also has a watch. She walks along the foot track as she thinks. Her fire is composed of hard wood, so it burns longer and brighter than the neighbouring furze fires. It is tended by a young boy,Johnny Nunsuch, whom Eustacia has convinced to do her will. Captain Vye, her grandfather and guardian on the heath, chastises his granddaughter for using their best wood, but she insists she did so to please Johnny, who in his innocence contradicts her claim. When Johnny asks for permission to leave, Eustacia offers him a crooked sixpence a traditional good luck charm as bribe to stay longer and tend the fire. She tells him to listen for the sound of

a hop-frog jumping in a nearby pond, which she says will signify rain and hence give him license to return home. Finally, he hears the sound, and she gives him him reward and sends him off. Wildeve comes out from the darkness. It is quickly apparent that they were once in a relationship. Eustacia has heard that his marriage was not finalized, and believes this is sign that he remains devoted to her rather than to Thomasin. He is surprised at her assertion, and they argue over who was responsible for the end of their relationship. Eustacia is angry, but recovers when she realizes that Wildeve remains attracted to her. He tries to save face by insisting it is she who is still attracted to him, but she knows she is in control and so is not bothered by his assertions. Chapter 7 Queen of Night Hardy describes Eustacia as having the passion and demeanor of a goddess. After describing her singular beauty, he briefly tells her history. She was originally from Budmouth, a fashionable seaside town. When her parents died, Eustacia moved in with her grandfather, Captain Vye, who subesquently moved to Egdon upon his retirement. Eustacia, used to the flurry of life in Budmouth, felt trapped in Egdon from the very beginning. Hardy further describes her as a passonate woman, desperate for love and for attention. He also notes that she is a contrary soul, who often sympathizes with figures that others despise, like the Philistines or Pontious Pilate. Bored and trapped by her surroundings, Eustacia does not appreciate the heath's beauty, but instead spends her days longing for a hero to sweep her off her feet. The closest she came to finding such a figure was with Wildeve, though she acknowledges that her passion for him came less from his own virtue than from a lack of other suitable options. Chapter 8 - Those Who are Found Where There Is Said to Be Nobody Johnny Nunsuch is returning home after being dismissed by Eustacia. He sees an unusual shape in the gloom, and, frightened, returns to Rainbarrow to ask Eustacia to send an escort home with him. When he arrives back at the barrow, he sees Eustacia talking with Wildeve, and hides in the shadows. Realizing it is imprudent to interrupt, Johnny attempts the journey again. This time, he sees Diggory from afar, and slips from fear. When Diggory helps Johnny by bandaging his wounds and finding his lost sixpence, they talk. Diggory dispels the common rumors about reddlemen, and explains that their red color is just an occupational hazard, and not a sign of evil. Johnny then tells Diggory about his time with Eustacia and about the meeting he observed, all of which makes Diggory suspicious. When the boy adds that he overheard discussion of another meeting, Diggory begins to understand that Wildeve is betraying Thomasin. Chapter 9 Love Leads a Shrewd Man into Strategy This chapter describes Diggory's unique and isolated position in society. After Johnny leaves for home, Diggory Venn opens and reads an old letter. It is from Thomasin, and reveals that he had once proposed marriage to her, but that she rejected him. She explains in the letter that she cares for him, but only as a friend. She compares her affection for him to her affection for her cousin Clym, whom her aunt had perhaps intended for her husband. Finally, she

believed that his position as a small dairy farmer would not meet her aunt, Mrs. Yeobright's, approval. After being spurned by Thomasin, Diggory quit his family farm and became a reddleman, a trade in which he grew somewhat wealthy. Though the job requires much travel, he endeavors to stay near Egdon and Thomasin. He considers the news Johnny has told him. Initially, he believes Eustacia is attempting to steal Wildeve from Thomasin, and so he begins to stake out their meeting place. A week later, he is there to observe their meeting. Wildeve asks Eustacia whether he should marry Thomasin, since Thomasin will be judged harshly if the marriage does not take place. Eustacia is initially haughty, and insists that she has first claim to Wildeve, whom she insists abandoned her for Thomasin. However, she soon realises how much she enjoys the intrigue of the love triangle. Wildeve mourns his dilemma, and teases Eustacia that his passions can alternate as frequently as hers if he pleases. Both agree that they would like to leave Egdon Heath, and Wildeve asks Eustacia to escape to America with him. She asks for time to consider the idea. Chapter 10 A Desperate Atttempt at Persuasion One week after the postponed wedding, Venn confronts Eustacia about the situation. He calls on her at Captain Vye's home, and, intrigued by the strange invitation, she walks along the heath with him. He is initially subtle in suggesting that Wildeve will never marry her. When she refuses to confront his meaning, he admits he overheard their meeting. She insists that she will not give Wildeve up. Venn then offers to help Eustacia escape from Egdon, as he knows she hates it. He explains that a lady in Budmouth is seeking a country-bred companion, but she is insulted by the idea of working as a servant. Once Diggory leaves, she realizes that she is again attracted to Wildeve now that he is in demand and her pursuit of him will bring excitement. Chapter 11 The Dishonesty of an Honest Woman Diggory is disappointed about his failure with Eustacia, and sees Mrs. Yeobright approaching the Quiet Woman inn. He intercepts her, and learns she plans to confront Wildeve about his intentions. Diggory then offers to marry Thomasin himself, and explains the circumstances of his first proposal. Mrs. Yeobright is unmoved, and insists Thomasin should marry Wildeve. When Mrs. Yeobright speaks to Wildeve, however, she uses this other proposal as leverage. Wildeve is surprised to learn of it, and asks for time to consider whether to renounce his claim to her hand. She agrees, provided that Wildeve does not communicate with Thomasin in the meantime. That evening, Wildeve visits Eustacia, who keeps him waiting a while before meeting him outside. He tells her of Thomasin's new suitor, and she accuses him of using her as a "stop gap" (82). They agree to discuss the issue further on the following Monday, but once he leaves, Eustacia feels her affection decreasing now that Wildeve is less in demand.

When she returns indoors, Captain Vye tells her the news from the inn: Clym Yeobright, who has been living in Paris, is returning to Egdon. This news intrigues Eustacia. Analysis In many ways, the main character in The Return of the Native is the heath itself. It is a complicated place, both empty and profound, and serves as both setting and symbol for the passions that drive the plot. Hardy reveals the dominance of the heath from the opening of the novel. He uses oxymoron and antonym to reveals the diversity and complex nature of this wild environment, describing it as "majestic without severity, impressive without showiness, emphatic in its admonitions, grand in its simplicity" (3). His novel is about tragic emotions and large personalities, but he posits these as ultimately small in contrast with the environment of the heath. He personifies the heath when he describes it as wearing an "antique brown dress" that it has never traded for another (4). This stands in stark contrast to the ever-changing fashions of humanity, to the point that the heath's constant "brown dress" provides a "satire on human vanity in clothes" (4). Hardy is not writing a nature book, however. Instead, the constancy of the heath provides a perspective on the emotional vacillations of his characters. If they are wise enough to allow it, they can realize that their petty squabbles are ultimately dwarfed by the greater forces in the world - time and death, both symbolized in the heath. Book 1 also introduces most of the main characters, as well as Hardy's omniscient point of view. Consider the first characters he introduces - Captain Vye and Diggory Venn. The former is initially compared to the mountain, which implies either that he is part of the landscape, or that the landscape is a universal reference for all things. Regardless, we can sense the author's perspective tightening onto a limited human tale from the larger canvas of time and nature. By establishing this omniscient point of view, Hardy is free to both empathize with his characters and judge them from a detached place. Diggory Venn is initially introduced as a complicated character. He is representative of a dying trade, one that necessarily ostracizes him both because of a nomadic existence and a debilitating red color that stains his skin. Hardy gives us some indication that such solitude is a self-penance for not having convincing Thomasin to marry him. Having been rejected by the woman he loves, he chooses to live amongst nature instead of amongst humans. This decision in part explains the nobility he continually shows in the novel. He is not corrupted by the selfishness and squabbling of humanity, but instead remains purely devoted to the heath that he wanders. Though he does have bitter feelings about Thomasin's refusal, he reveals a pure love through his attempts to secure her social reputation even though it does not directly benefit him. His strange appearance is ironic, because though it feeds superstition, it is a sign of his honesty, whereas Eustacia's beauty serves as sign of her disloyalty. Before introducing any other main characters, Hardy immerses the reader in the lifestyle of the heath through its inhabitants. Near the bonfire, the heath residents serve as a type of Greek chorus, who discuss backstory through a particular vernacular. They are lively, excitable, and prone to gossip. Christian Cantle introduces the supernatural quality of the heath, which connects to the ultimate power of the heath itself. Hardy will return to this group throughout the novel, usually to add local color to life on the heath, and to give the reader insight into how his main plot is viewed

by the larger society. Here, they all know about the wedding that has (supposedly) taken place, and discuss the history of Wildeve and Thomasin alike. Perhaps the character who most exemplifies the complications of the heath is Eustacia Vye. Venn considers an apt similie when he compares her to the tiger beetle, which can appear dull but is actually splendid when viewed in the correct light. Her beauty is singular, and her character is only magnificent when understood. Otherwise, she can seem dour and mean. However, what most complicates Eustacia - and will partially lead to her tragic downfall - is her unique perspective as a woman. Venn assumes she is driven by the same desires that drive other women - the desire for a good husband, social standing, etc. However, Eustacia is fiercely independent, and willfully contrary. She wants a dynamic life full of excitement, but her options are limited because of her femininity. These two forces are clear in this first Book. Though she pretends to be a maiden in search of love with Wildeve, she is actually playing a power game. It is clear that she does not love him, but rather is intrigued by the excitement flirtation can bring. Hardy does tell us that she ultimately wants love, but she has been hardened by a life where finding love and contentment seems impossible. Her reputation - a woman's most valuable asset in finding a husband in this period - is far less important to her than her happiness is. While a modern reader might find this easy to understand, it is far stranger given the historical context. In fact, Hardy gives Eustacia an almost supernatural air that will continue to resonate throughout the novel. She is first seen in silhouette, which establishes her as otherworldly. Her power over Johnny Nunsuch, her grandfather, and Wildeve paints her as bewitching. His comparisons, which link Eustacia to both a contemporary actress and an ancient Greek writer, emphasize her timeless qualities. Further, her use of a telescope is symbolic - she is forever looking to the distance, the world beyond. Similarly, her use of an hourglass (even though she has a watch) connect her to the ancient passage of time. The fact that both items came from her grandfather's seafaring days suggest a connection to life in the distance. She is far greater than her physical being; she is instead defined by her almost otherworldly passion. Eustacias physical and psychological descriptions further emphasize her mystical qualities. She is said to have a flame-like soul, if such a thing were visible." Her "queenly" appearance belies the passion which lies beneath. Eustacia desires to be "loved to madness", and she is looking for a blaze of passion rather than a constant steady flame (55). This flame explains her behavior in Book 1, in which she is more interested in temporary, powerful feelings than in the steady attraction of a long-term commitment. These intense emotions both distinguish Eustacia, and lead to her tragic downfall. Ironically, while she embodies the most contradictions and is therefore emblematic of the heath, she is bored by it and wants most of all to escape it. Wildeve is also a complicated character, though he is clearly self-involved. When the reader first learns that Mrs. Yeobright opposed his marriage with Thomasin, it makes her seem too strict, but details later suggest that her disapproval showed wisdom. One symbol that helps understand Wildeve is Wildeve's Path, which Olly Dowden explains is land that was tamed and cultivated by others before Wildeve came, but was given his name once he arrived and took credit for it. This image suggests he is one who usurps and uses, rather than labors and conquers. Wildeve is already cast in a negative light before he has even been officially introduced to the reader. His vacillations with Eustacia - atop his very clear acknowledgment of how his decisions can hurt Thomasin's reputation - illustrate his concern with self-image over nobility. In many ways, he is a good match

for Eustacia because of his vacillations and desire to escape, but he lacks her fiery emotional quality. Thomasin, in contrast to Wildeve, is beautiful, simple, and pure. However her distress is clear in Hardy's initial description, which contrasts her hopeful air with a "film of anxiety and grief" (30). She offers a more traditional depiction of a lady in this time period, and as such stands in contrast to Eustacia. Thomasin merely wants a good husband and a strong reputation, and as such has far less agency in the novel. She rather quickly becomes a tool towards judging the nobility and goodness of other characters, rather than a strong, complicated personality in her own right. Her greatest fears are that she will be shamed (by something like a "skimmity-ride," which would never happen because neither of them are in a position to commit adultery). It is useful to understand the historical nature of the bonfires. While they were ostensibly burnt in celebration of Guy Fawkes Day, which commemorates a 1606 plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, Hardy insists they are grander, and imitate ancient funeral pyres and offerings to the gods Thor and Woden. His desire to place them in a more ancient context conforms to his tragic sense, which tries to see his plot in its larger context of time. Finally, the conflict between a traditional and modern world is introduced here. Eustacia embodies it, but only in terms of herself. The local Chorus considers it more fully in discussing education and church. They admire education, but do not believe it holds the keys to life that modern thought claims. Further, the benefit of church is open to doubt, since they do not believe it impacts their lives as workers. In terms of both, they would rather put their present before an uncertain future. Book Second: The Arrival Summary Chapter 1 Tidings of the Comer From inside Captain Vye's home, Eustacia hears laborers discuss Clym's impending return. They discuss how he has been working in Paris as a diamond merchant, and Captain Vye criticizes the choice to avoid a family vocation. He bemoans the curse of education, which he says teaches the young solely to write offensive graffiti. The laborers discuss what a good couple Eustacia and Clym might make. Eustacia is excited by their conjecture, and begins to daydream about a romantic match with Clym. While she daydreams, she walks towards his birthplace of Blooms-End, and considers how Paris must be the center of the fashionable world. Chapter 2 The People at BloomsEnd Make Ready Meanwhile, at Blooms-End, Thomasin andMrs. Yeobright prepare for Clym's return. Thomasin laments her own fate in regard to the delayed marriage, and the shame it could bring to her. Mrs. Yeobright asks Thomasin whether her feelings for Wildeve have changed, and she admits that she used Diggory's information as leverage. They agree not to tell Clym about the situation, and then leave to gather holly to further decorate the cottage. Chapter 3 How a Little Sound Produced a Great Dream

As Eustacia looks over Blooms-End, she sees Clym arriving with his mother and cousin. She overhears him speak favorably of the heath, and is surprised. Hardy explains that Clym was born to the environment, whereas Eustacia was an unwilling immigrant to it, so that the land remains alien to her. Eustacia clearly does not understand how an educated and cultured man would appreciate such roughness. Eustacia returns to her grandfather, and questions him about their relationship with the Yeobright family. He claims that she would consider them too countrified for her social tastes, and says he has not socialized with them since Mr. Yeobright died. That night, Eustacia dreams of dancing with a man in silver armor. The dream ends when he removes his helmet to kiss her. She is frustrated at not seeing the face of this hero. Eustacia begins to take frequent walks through the hills, hoping to see Clym. However, after several fruitless forays, she abandons the pursuit. Chapter 4 - Eustacia is Led on to an Adventure It is now December 23rd. Eustacia is upset to learn that Clym plans to leave Egdon the following week, since she has not yet been able to meet him. Hardy explains that it would have been easy to meet him had Egdon been a churchgoing community, but this was not the case. One day, the mummers, a group of locals who perform annual amateur plays, ask Eustacia if they can rehearse in Captain Vye's fuel house. They are preparing to perform the story of St. George and the dragon at a party being thrown by Mrs. Yeobright at her home. Hardy gives a brief description of their work as more tradition than entertainment, since audiences and actors see the play as a duty. He further explains that the mummer company is comprised solely of male members whose costumes are adorned by the females. Because the women are more interested in flamboyance than in character purpose, the adornments often confuse audiences because the choices do not conform to the personalities. Eustacia concocts a scheme to infiltrate the party and hopefully meet Clym. She convinces Charley, whom she knows is infatuated with her, to let her play his part of the Turkish knight. In exchange, she allows him to hold and kiss her hand for fifteen minutes. Her plan is to tell the other mummers that she is Charley's cousin who has to take his place because Charley was suddenly called to return two heath croppers to the Vye residence. He agrees to the conditions, and then holds her hand until his allotted time is up. Chapter 5 Through the Moonlight Hardy explains how time is measured differently throughout the heath, because there are several differing sources of it: the Quiet Woman inn, Blooms End and Grandfer Cantles watch. The mummers thus arrive to rehearsal on a relaxed and varied schedule. Eustacia slips in carefully, and tells them her planned lie about being Clym's cousin. She had quickly memorized his part, and the other mummers are pleased with her performance. After they finish, they head together towards the Vye residence. They notice that the partygoers are still dancing, and so wait outside until it is appropriate for them to enter. As they wait, Eustacia

asks the other mummers why the Yeobrights hold such large parties, and they explain that the parties are meant to involve the whole community. While she talks, the mummers realize who she is, but promise they will keep her secret. Finally, they are able to force their way into the cottage and perform the play. Eustacia performs well, and retains her dignity by playing her death scene slowly and gradually, rather than as a sudden, dramatic collapse. As she lies on the floor, pretending to be dead, she looks around for Clym. Chapter 6 - The Two Stand Face to Face As Eustacia sees Clym, Hardy describes him for the first time. His intellectual ruminations stands at odds to his physical attractiveness, and it is hinted that his scholarly nature could diminish his physical beauty. Eustacia keeps her disguise on, though it prohibits her from eating at the party. She does, however, accept Clyms offer of elder wine. She is, as she expected, captivated by him. However, Hardy adds that this passion was partially pre-decided, and derived from her desire to replace her waning passion for Wildeve. Eustacia overhears Clym talking with Thomasin, who is avoiding the party, and realizes that he knows nothing about her situation with Wildeve. Eustacia grows jealous of Thomasin, and the latter's proximity to Clym. Absorbed in a tumult of emotions, she walks outside, and Clym follows her. He asks whether she is actually a woman, and why she has taken the mummers part. She explains that she engineered to ruse to bring herself some excitement. Eustacia remembers that she was supposed to meet Wildeve that evening an arrangement she herself set up. Realizing that Thomasin now stands as potential rival for Clym, she considers that she could manipulate Wildeve to her advantage. Chapter 7 A Coalition between Beauty and Oddness The next day, Captain Vye asks Eustacia what kept her out so late, and she confesses that she acted in the mummer's play. She then walks along the heath, where she meets Diggory, and decides to use him to help secure a marriage between Wildeve and Thomasin. Diggory tells her that he saw Wildeve awaiting her the night before, and then promises to carry a letter to him from Eustacia, in which she will tell him to marry Thomasin. Diggory has mixed emotions about the plan. He wants to marry Thomasin himself, but if she does not want him, he is resolved to facilitate her happiness. Venn takes Eustacia's letter to Wildeve, who tells him that Mrs. Yeobright had promised to let Thomasin marry the reddleman. Diggory does not trust Wildeve, so he decides to confront Mrs. Yeobright himself about the possibility. However, as he arrives at the Yeobright house, Wildeve exits, having just claimed Thomasin's hand for himself. Chapter 8 Firmness is Discovered in a Gentle Heart The perspective shifts to Thomasin, who has just agreed to marry Wildeve two days later. Clym had recently heard the rumors about his cousin's shame, but had left on a short journey to visit friends. Thomasin hopes to be married by the time he returns, to save him further concern.

Mrs. Yeobright tells her that Diggory had also arrived to ask for her hand, but that she had told him he was too late. The women prepare for the wedding. Thomasin styles her hair in an elaborate seven-stranded braid, and wears the blue silk dress she had set aside for the occasion. Mrs. Yeobright promises she has forgiven Wildeve, and then throws a slipper at Thomasin in observance of an old superstition. Thomasin then leaves alone for the church in an adjoining parish for the ceremony, insisting her aunt should not accompany her. Clym returns, concerned that he was never told of the situation with Thomasin. Diggory arrives to tell them that the ceremony has now been completed. He also tells them that Eustacia, who happened to be nearby when the ceremony took place, was the one who gave Thomasin away. Clym is not familiar with Eustacia. He asks his mother about her. Mrs Yeobright clearly does not like Eustacia. She describes her as proud, but dismisses the rumor that Eustacia is a witch. Analysis Eustacia, described in the first book as a passionate girl in search of a place to direct that passion, finds one in Clym, although it is in less in him than in her idea of him. From the first mention she hears, she equates him with Paris, which she considers the epitome of culture, civilization, and fashion. The fact that the laborers consider her in his league seems to stroke her ego by stressing her distinctness from everyone else on the heath. There is certainly an irony in how she takes their assessment as accurate while instinctively considering them below her, but she is not a position to consider such irony, as she is so desperate for passion and escape. Hardy, who was always interested in the workings of fate and tragedy, begins to establish the presence of these forces in the burgeoning relationship between Eustacia and Clym. When she initially walks to Blooms-End to spy on him, there is some significant foreshadowing of their later difficulties. For instance, Clym is flanked by his sister and his cousin, which symbolizes the attachments Eustacia will later resent to the point of her destruction. Further, his comment about the heath confuses her - she does not understand how he could appreciate its roughness. However, her ideas of him are already so well-founded that she ignores this facet of his personality. She will continue to ignore it, which will cause her significant trouble later. Eustacias dream is highly symbolic, in that the knights identity is not revealed. Later in the story, we realize that the knight is not Clym, but Eustacia herself. It suggests that Eustacia loves the ideal of love, not the individuals whom she believes she loves. When she pursues and achieves the role of the Turkish knight, it symbolizes her willfulness and perseverance, but also her perpetual seclusion from others. The scheme reveals her need to be in control - she will learn about Clym without making herself vulnerable, but this type of seclusion and emotional defense has emotional consequences. Nobody ever lives up to her expectations - and this will certainly be true of Clym and so she is forced to turn always to herself for solace. In fact, Eustacia lacks much perspective on herself, ironic because she is so precise in her schemes that concern others. Because she is so independent, she does not realize her connection or duty to anyone else. When she grows jealous of Thomasin, she does not consider her emotions, but instead schemes to unite Thomasin and Wildeve, not recognizing that she herself was the primary obstacle towards that union in the first place. This blindness is a large part of what leaves Eustacia alone later, and leads her to her tragic end.

Eustacia's use of the disguise to meet Clym also serves as an allusion to Romeo and Juliet's first encounter in Shakespeare's play. The allusion is profound, especially because at that point in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is pining for the loss of a lover, whose memory is quickly banished in favor the young Juliet. Similarly, Wildeve is swiftly obliterated from Eustacias thoughts once she has contact with Clym, so much so she forgets their meeting which she had engineered. Thomasin remains a personification of innocence in this book. When she and her aunt prepare for Clym's arrival, Hardy uses much imagery to stress that innocence. The way she gathers apples from the loft is a particularly strong example of this imagery. She is so innocent that she cannot fathom the possibility of telling Clym about her situation. Even though it is highly unlikely that he would not learn the rumors in such a small community, she is unable to confront the truth of her situation; it is too far divorced from the simplicity of the life she lives and wants. Venn's chivalry stands in stark contrast to Wildeve's self-interested machinations. However, fate does not necessarily favor virtue, as we see when he loses Thomasin, in large part simply because Wildeve arrives at the house first. Thomasin's impulse in marrying Wildeve no longer derives from great affection for him, but rather from a desire to avoid subjecting Clym to any shame on her part. Therefore, she would likely have made the practical decision to marry Diggory had he arrived first. She is most aware of the pressures placed on a woman. Hardy's ability for plot is also apparent here. For instance, he establishes Charley's affection for Eustacia quite efficiently, and this will prove an important detail later in the story. His love is a steady one, the type of love Eustacia dislikes, though it will prove valuable to her later. Finally, Hardy continues to explore the conflict between the old world of the heath and the modern world of education. His description of Clym poses a dichotomy between physical beauty and intellectualism. He suggests that Clym will lose his rugged and natural good looks if he chooses to live a life of study and academics. We cannot have both aspects. However, he does not blindly sing the praises of tradition either. Instead, he discusses the mummer play as an instance of a custom that has lost its emotional power, but persists nevertheless. Likewise, he continues to express an ambivalence about religion. While the lack of churchgoing in Egdon is not attacked in itself, it is implied that this lack of Christian faith leads to a prevailing superstition. Considering that these superstitions will play a part in the novel's tragic end, it is possible to think Hardy is not fully in support of such ancient belief systems. One tradition Hardy describes in great detail is that of marriage. Thomasin decides to wear a blue silk dress, the color of which denotes true love from the other party. Wildeve may exhibit true love, but Thomasin is not the recipient of it. Thomasin chooses to braid her hair elaborately, to show that she is committed to making it a special day. The tradition of throwing a shoe is a precursor to the contemporary tradition of tying shoes to the car of a wedded couple. It might refer to the ancient tradition of a bride being carried off, which indicates that the bride is not taken without a fight. This interpretation certainly conforms to Thomasin's case, since her aunt originally opposed the wedding. It is sad that this tradition is followed through before Thomasin has met up with her groom. This implies that she is given up by her aunt, but not truly taken on by her new husband. The tradition of giving a bride away occurs perversely in this case. When Eustacia stands in that position, it suggests a power struggle between her and Wildeve. In many ways, he marries Thomasin to maintain some dignity and ego after being rejected by Eustacia, but she arrives and

shows herself unconcerned with his decision. Again, Eustacia is only aware of her own desires, to the point that she does not consider the sacredness of the occasion. Book Third: The Fascination Summary Chapter 1 My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is Hardy gives a more comprehensive description of Clym Yeobright. His physical appearance reflects what Hardy believes will be the common aspect of the future. Hardy believes that along with education, man's physical beauty - in the classical sense - will be phased out. He further believes this will eventually happen to women, too. From his early years, Clym inspired great hopes from his family and community. After his father's death, a gentleman in Budmouth supported Clym by offering the young man an apprenticeship. Clym then went to London, then Paris, as his career blossomed. On the Sunday after Thomasins marriage, Clym joins the Egdon men in the traditional Sunday hair cutting session, in which Fairway cuts hair while the men gossip. Clym reveals to the locals that he has become disenchanted with his life abroad. He says that he has returned to start a school close to Egdon. The locals are skeptical of his plan. Chapter 2 The New Course Causes Disappointment As Hardy explains, Clym is keen to serve his community, but his educational philosophies are ahead of their time. He is hoping to educate a long-established community that is not yet ripe for change. Clym tells Mrs. Yeobright of his plan, but she disapproves of it as a step backwards. She wants more for him. He insists that his definition of success is far different from her own. Their discussion is interrupted by Christian Cantle, who recounts the morning's dramatic events. He had attended church a rare occurrence and witnessed Susan Nunsuchstabbing Eustacia Vye in the arm with a stocking needle. Susan believes that Eustacia is a witch who had bewitched her children, and this was Susan's attempt to stop the evil process. Clym is concerned to hear that Miss Vye fainted as a result of the attack. Clym and Mrs. Yeobright continue their discussion. She understands his altruistic motives, but believes his life experiences require him to move forward, not backwards, in life. They discuss Eustacia, and Mrs. Yeobright reacts negatively to Clyms questions, saying that a good person would not find herself accused of such dark ideas as witchcraft. Clyms first interest in Eustacia is cerebral; he wonders if she might be interested in teachin g. He then begins to wonder whether she was the woman who dressed as the Turkish knight in the mummer's play. Chapter 3 The First Act in a Timeworn Drama Clym is intrigued to finally meet Eustacia. One day, he encounters some locals who are working to recover a bucket that had fallen down Captain Vye's well. Though they are able to retrieve the bucket, the well-tacke is removed in the process, meaning the well will not keep water.

Clym offers to bring water to Eustacia for that night, as she refuses to drink from the pool by the house. They talk of the events at church, and she admits her bewilderment over such superstitions. Clym asks her if she would like to teach with him. Her response that she sometimes hates the locals makes it clear she wants no part in this plan. They discuss the heath. Eustacia admits that she hates it, except for when it is flowering. Clym counters that he would rather be on the heath than anywhere else in the world. Despite Eustacia's rejection of the idea, Clym is further inspired towards his teaching plan because of her presence. Mrs. Yeobright is concerned to observe how Eustacia has affected Clym. She is further upset when Clym gives Eustacia a charnel pot, an artifact found in a dig of the ancient barrow, that was originally intended for Mrs. Yeobright. Angry, she calls Clym's scheme for the school, and his attraction to Eustacia, foolish. Chapter 4 - An Hour of Bliss and Many Hours of Sadness The narrative jumps forward three months, during which time Clym and Eustacia have developed a love affair. On the night of a lunar eclipse, they rendezvous outside. She is passionate and excited to be with him. Clym admits he loves her, but that his mother disapproves. He proposes marriage nevertheless. She asks for time to think on the proposal, and then asks him to talk to her of Paris. He dislikes the subject and tries to discuss their future, but she is persistent in her request. Finally, she promises to marry him if he promises that they can return to Paris. Clym subtly suggests that it is only the possibility of Paris that attracts Eustacia to him. She denies his claim, and insists she would gladly spend her days in a hermitage, so long as they were together. Clym realizes that both his mother and Eustacia want him to return to Paris. He is aware of the challenge that will come in trying to please the three primary people in his life: his mother, his wife-to-be, and himself. Chapter 5 Sharp Words are Spoken and a Crisis Ensues Mrs. Yeobright is unhappy to hear from the gossips at the Quiet Woman Inn that Clym and Eustacia are to be married. She confronts him, and he explains his plan to "instil high knowledge in to empty minds" (160). They have an emotional argument, and Clym leaves the house. He had intended to broker a meeting between Mrs. Yeobright and Eustacia in an attempt to improve their relationship. Instead, Clym meets Eustacia and repeats his proposal, promising they will live in a small cottage on the heath for only six months, after which time they will move to Budmouth to start a school. Eustacia agrees. As she leaves him, he reflects on how he no longer sees her as a goddess but as an actual woman for whose welfare he is now responsible. Chapter 6 Yeobright Goes and the Breach is Complete Clym officially leaves his mothers house on the next morning, a wet June day. He has found an empty cottage on the heath, where he will live alone until he and Eustacia are married. The wedding day is set for June 25th. Mrs. Yeobright tell him she will not likely attend. After Clym leaves, Mrs. Yeobright sits alone. Thomasin arrives, to ask her aunt for money. She does not want Wildeve to know of the request, however. He does not allow her much money, and she is afraid to broach the subject with him. Mrs. Yeobright is not pleased with what this suggests about their marriage, but she tells Thomasin how she has saved 100 guineas, 50 for Thomasin and

50 for Clym. However, she insists Thomasin discuss the subject with Wildeve before accepting the money. Meanwhile, Wildeve hears of Eustacias impending nuptuals. He finds that his old feelings for her are somewhat rekindled. Chapter 7 The Morning and Evening of a Day Clym and Eustacias wedding day arrives. Mrs. Yeobright does not attend. Instead, she waits at home for Thomasin, who has written to ask for money again. Wildeve arrives, having been sent by Thomasin to fetch the gift. Mrs. Yeobright correctly intuits that Thomasin has not told him what he is fetching, and so she refuses to give it to him. He is annoyed but suspicious, and leaves. Mrs. Yeobright contemplates her decision not to hand over the guineas. She decides that she will ask Christian Cantle to bring the money to Thomasin and Clym his will serve as a wedding gift. Christian is told not hand the guineas to anyone other than to Thomasin or Clym. Christian sets off on his mission, but is diverted by a raffle for a gown-piece, decided through dice. He wins the piece, but is captivated by the power of the dice. He admits to Wildeve, who is also there, that he holds a significant sum of money from Mrs. Yeobright, intended for Thomasin. Christian is too simple to consider that Thomasin's husband is meant to be kept oblivious. Wildeve is angry that his mother-in-law would trust Christian, but not him. From the shadows, Diggory overhears their conversation. Wildeve challenges Cantle to play dice with the money, arguing that even if he wins, the money will still be in the hands of the proper family. Christian quickly loses Thomasin's fifty guineas, and plays on with Clym's share. Just as he loses everything, Diggory enters from the shadows. Chapter 8 A New Force Disturbs the Current Diggory Venn challenges Wildeve to play on, having won all the money in Christian's possession. After a tense match, Venn wins all the money. As he gathers it up, a carriage passes, bring Eustacia and Clym from their wedding to their cottage. Diggory gives all of the guineas to Thomasin, not knowing that half of them were intended for Clym. Hardy prophecies that this innocent error will have significant consequences. Analysis In this third book, the forces that will engender a tragic end are established. These forces particularly reside in Clym's ambition, which will be at odds with the ambition of the woman he loves. The tragedy will result from an irreconcilable truth: he and Eustacia love one another because of their personalities and desires, and yet those personalities and desires are not compatible. This facet is communicated through the title of the book's first chapter - "My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is" - which is taken from a sixteenth century poem by Sir Edward Dyer. The poem celebrates the depth of the human mind, its vastness in terms of imagination and refuge for the human spirit. However, the allusion is used ironically, since Clym cannot see beyond his own mind in terms of his place in the world. He has had great success and opportunity abroad, and wishes now to educate the people of Egdon in what he deems important for their development. However, the reader knows from their discussion near the bonfire in Book 1 that this is a foolish and

impossible plan. They are not only uninterested in such education, but also contemptuous of it. Clym, a native of the heath, should know this, but he is deluded by his enlightenment, rather than made wise by it. This plan is one of the many factors that lead to a tragic end. Clyms ascendancy can be compared to that of Charles Dickenss character Pip, from the 1860 novel Great Expectations. Although Clym was not an orphan, he had been removed outside his surroundings in a effort to improve his prospects, and he is both improved and compromised by this greater education. Clym eventually sees his life in Paris as idle and vain, much as Pip eventually saw London, but he has been too defined by this outside world to easily reintegrate into the heath. Pip is doomed to be an outsider in adulthood, neither comfortable in rich surroundings nor entirely welcomed in common surroundings, and this is a parallel conflict to Clym's. He wants to return to the heath, but is from the moment of his return seen as different. Further, he reinforces this image through his rather unrealistic plan. By the end of the novel, Clym will be even more an outsider than he is here. What is perhaps most tragic is that he has such a charitable heart. At his core, he is a product of the heath, and its simplicity. And yet he is drawn to Eustacia partly because she is not of the heath. His attraction to her is a manifestation of his irreconcilable personalities. He loves the heath, but wants to bring an unwelcome outside perspective to it. This irreconcilable conflict is summed up when Hardy explains Clym's and Eustacia's varying attitudes towards the heath - "Take all the varying hates felt by Eustacia towards the heath, and translate them into loves, and you have the heart of Clym" (137). While to a detached reader, this insight suggests incompatibility, Clym does not have the presence of mind to recognize his contradictions, and as such facilitates a relationship that will cause great heartbreak for many. At one point, he recognizes that he must reconcile the three competing visions in his life: that of his mother, that of Eustacia, and that of himself. However, he does not have the stability of mind to realize that this will be impossible. The conflicting attitudes are also manifest in the argument between Clym and Mrs. Yeobright. Their definitions of success are wildly different, and yet Clym is not truly able to understand this. He is too locked in his own perspective - which he blindly believes is the most enlightened one to empathize with those of others. His mother has sacrificed much for his welfare, and has a vested interest in his success outside of the heath. Her dislike of Eustacia results somewhat from the latter's incompatibility with their rural ways. Clym, however, ignores these justifiable attitudes and thinks of this young woman as only a potential teacher for his school. Much as she loved him immediately not because of who he was but because of what she wanted him to be, so does he establish an image of her that is not shaken even when the reality of her person is brought to the forefront. Were Clym more open to his mother's arguments, he might realize the difficulty of reconciling his many desires into a happy life on a heath that has no use for his modern ideas. The impossibility of reconciling these ideas are ironically apparent to the reader in any of their scenes together. While they are enamored of one another, the reader sees that Eustacia has no interest in remaining on the heath. Clym seems unable to hear the truth of her desire, and instead brokers a compromise that we can already see will lead to heartbreak. In this lies Hardy's use of tragedy to tell his story - the audience knows that this will end badly, and the dramatic thrust lies in watching how the heartbreak comes. The first great heartbreak is that of Mrs. Yeobright. Her deteriorating relationship with her son is symbolized by the gift of the charnel pot, which Clym gives to Eustacia instead of to his mother. At the time of publication, the novel was criticized for its suggestion of an Oedipal relationship

(though the term was not used in that way), an understandable interpretation considering that the conflict is enflamed by a lover's gift. Hardy's reference to a "timeworn drama" in his chapter title further suggests such an interpretation, since it connects their conflict to the ancient Greek tale of Oedipus. The use of Greek tragedy can also been seen in Mrs. Yeobright's fateful tone, when she tells Clym, "It was a bad day for you when you first set eyes on her. And your scheme is merely a castle in the air built on purpose to justify this folly which has siezed you" (153). There is a sense of prophecy to these words. Eustacia is not as central to this book, though we see a significant contrast in her feelings for Clym, compared to those she had for Wildeve. She does not keep Clym waiting, as she often did with Wildeve. While she was blunt and honest with Wildeve about what she wanted from him, she is unable to be so honest with Clym, telling him that she would live happily with him in a hermitage. The dramatic irony is that the reader knows that his connection to Paris is much of what draws her to him, and yet she is unwilling to hurt him. One could argue she is being untruthful with herself, which could suggest a genuine affection for Clym. She does not want to hurt him, or endanger a relationship that brings her happiness. In this book, the simple and innocent Thomasin encounters her own problems. Her marriage is not violent or disastrous, but neither is it happy. Her decision to marry Wildeve for practical reasons is manifesting in their lack of communication. She cannot ask him for money. When Diggory again shows himself to be her champion, we are reminded that Hardy is not interested in happy, pleasant stories. She had an opportunity to marry a man who truly loved her - so much so that he risks himself time and again for her happiness - but instead made a practical decision that will cause great heartbreak down the line. In fact, the battle between Diggory and Wildeve reveal the different types of men they are. There is an almost melodramatic tone to this battle, with Diggory entering from the shadows and the men playing furiously into the dark. They are both fighting for a different Thomasin. Wildeve fights for the woman he wishes to control as his wife, and Diggory fights for the woman whose happiness brings him joy. The sense of morality play manifests in Diggory's eventual victory, though Hardy's tragic sense again proves prominent. Diggory's goodness does not mean goodness conquers all; in fact, when he gives the money to Thomasin, not knowing half of it was intended for Clym, he unknowingly encourages more tragedy to come, as the narrator tells us. There are plenty of good, innocent people in the world, Hardy seems to suggest, but they have limited agency in making the world good overall. Book Fourth: The Closed Door Summary Chapter 1 The Rencounter by the Pool It is July. Clym and Eustacia live in their cottage on the heath, comfortable with their wedded bliss. However, their divergent dreams are beginning to emerge, as Clym is keen to take up teaching as soon as possible, and Eustacia maintains the hope that she can persuade him to take her to Paris. Clym studies constantly, believing he has much learning to complete before he can found an effective school. Eustacias anxiety hits its peak six weeks after the wedding, because of Mrs. Yeobright. The older woman had recievedThomasin's thanks for the guineas, but naturally had not heard from Clym.

Mrs. Yeobright plans to visit Eustacia to ensure the guineas were put to good use. However, when Christian admits that he lost the money to Wildeve, Mrs. Yeobright begins to suspect that Wildeve, who was rumored to have been Eustacia's former lover, might have given the money to her. She visits and confronts Eustacia with that charge. Eustacia is enraged at the suggestion that she accepted money from Wildeve. In anger, she exclaims that she would never have married Clym if she knew they would reside on the heath. The two women part without reconciling. Chapter 2 He is Set Upon by Adversities but He Sings a Song Eustacia returns home and tells Clym of the confrontation with his mother. She begs him to take her to Paris. He is firm in his refusal, but decides to intensify his studies so as to found the school sooner. The next day, Thomasin visits to explain the confusion over the guineas, and she gives Clym his share. Eustacia is not present for this meeting. Unfortunately, Clym's incessant studies strain his eyes, and he loses most of his sight. After treatment, he is relieved to learn he will not become totally blind. However, Eustacia is tortured by the idea that her Paris dreams will not be met. Even worse, she is horrified to learn of Clym's desire to take up furze-cutting during his recovery, both to stay active and to generate some moderate income. She finds it to be a common enterprise, but he insists it is necessary. One day, she visits him while he is working and hears him singing a song. She is mortified to discover that he can find happiness in such common work, and depressed that he could feel satisfaction when she is so unsatisfied. It is apparent that their passion for each other is declining. Chapter 3 She Goes Out to Battle against Depression Eustacia slides into depression. Clym realises that his work as furze-cutter is part of the cause, but does not know how to improve her situation. She resolves to battle her depression, and her first act of defiance is to attend a dance on the green, in a neighboring area where she does not know anyone. She is initially envious of the merry dancers, but cannot bring herself to join them until Wildeve suddenly appears and asks her to dance. He was there by coincidence. She agrees, but covers her face with a veil so as not to be recognized. Both Wildeve and Eustacia find their passions for one another resurfacing. Wildeve walks her back from the dance, but hides away when they see Clym andDiggory Venn approaching in the distance. Clym's poor eyesight prevents him from noticing that she was initially with escort, but Diggory is suspicious from having seen the other figure. Venn visits Thomasin to see what she knows about Wildeves whereabouts earlier that day. She tells him that Wildeve had gone to a neighboring area to buy a horse. Diggory sarcastically says that he saw Wildeve leading a creature home, then leaves. Thomasin naturally does not realize his pun, and is surprised when Wildeve arrives with no horse. When she tells him of Diggory's comment, Wildeve realizes he must proceed with caution if he is to resume any relationship with Eustacia. Chapter 4 Rough Coercion is Employed

Diggory Venn is motivated to again act on Thomasins behalf, believing Wildeve is neglecting her for Eustacia. Wildeve is indeed beginning to stalk around Eustacia's home, and he one day trips over a red stained cord, which indicates Diggory's strategic attempts to keep him away. Wildeve becomes paranoid, and imagines that Mrs. Yeobright and Venn are plotting against him. One day, Wildeve waits outside Eustacias window. He sends a signal in the form of a moth which he coaxes inside. It flies to her candle flame and dies. They have used this signal before, and Eustacia immediately tells Clym that she will take a walk. However, Diggory suddenly knocks on the door to distract them and scare away Wildeve. Another day, Wildeve finds shotgun shells and interprets them as a threat from Diggory. When he is unable to report the threat to the constable, he overcomes his paranoia and redoubles his intent to connect with Eustacia. Meanwhile, Diggory visits Mrs. Yeobright and tells her of her son's deteriorating eye sight. She initially pretends not to care, but Diggory convinces her to reconcile with Clym. He believes she would discover Wildeve's duplicity for herself in that case. In her depression, Eustacia tells Clym that it would have been better for everyone if he had never returned to Egdon. Chapter 5 - The Journey Across the Heath Mrs. Yeobright decides one day to walk to Clyms house. It is late August by this time. It is a long walk, but she manages okay despite her age. As she nears his area, she asks a laborer for directions, and the man indicates Clym in the distance, cutting furze. She is shocked to see him engaged in such an activity. She follows him from afar as he returns home, not from secrecy but merely because she cannot keep up. As she stops to rest, she sees him arrive home, and then another man soon approach the cottage. Chapter 6 A Conjuncture, and Its Result upon the Pedestrian Wildeve, the other figure whom Mrs. Yeobright saw, approaches the house intending to chat with both Eustacia and Clym. His new philosophy is to approach them openly, so that Diggory would have no cause to interfere. If the only way he can see Eustacia is around her husband, he is ready for that. He is pleased, however, to see that Clym is asleep on the floor when he arrives. Clym often comes home during lunchtime for a nap. After he is let in, Wildeve questions Eustacia about her marriage. She insists she loved Clym, but that he was not fulfilling his potential. Through the window, Eustacia sees Mrs. Yeobright approaching. When the older woman knocks, she hides Wildeve in the back and does not answer the door, expecting that Clym will wake and answer it. However, after she forces Wildeve to exit from the back, she discovers that Clym did not wake, and that Mrs. Yeobright has left. Naturally, Mrs. Yeobright believes her son is shunning her, since she herself saw him enter the house. On her walk home, she encounters Johnny Nunsuch, and she asks him to carry a message to his mother: he has met a broken-hearted woman who has been rejected by her son. Chapter 7 The Tragic Meeting of Two Old Friends

Clym awakes from his sleep, and tells Eustacia of a strange dream in which his mother was crying for help, and he was unable to help her. Inspired by the vision, he decides to visit her. Eustacia tries to distract him from that mission, but he is resolute. On his walk to her home, Clym finds his mother collapsed on the heath. He carries her to a nearby shed, and calls for help from the locals. They come to her aid, and one of them deduces that she has been bitten by an adder. They try an ancient cure of cooked adder oil to counteract the poison. Chapter 8 Eustacia Hear of Good Fortune and Beholds Evil Eustacia sets out after her husband. On her way, she runs into her grandfather, who tells her that Wildeves uncle in Canada has left him eleven thousand pounds. Eustacia is intrigued, and though she may not love money in itself, she does covet the lifestyle it can facilitate. She soon encounters Wildeve, and tells him she is trying to find her husband, and that she regrets having ignored Mrs. Yeobright's knock. Wildeve accompanies her, and tells her of his plans for the inheritance. He will invest nine thousand pounds, keep one thousand pounds for ready money, and use one thousand pounds for travel. His travel plans are similarly organised and elaborate. He plans to journey to Paris, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Palestine, America, Australia and India. Both Wildeve and Eustacia agree on the beauty of Paris. As they walk along, they see the drama in the turf-shed. The doctor has arrived. He explains that Mrs. Yeobright is deteriorating quickly: her heart is weak and she is physically exhausted. Mrs. Yeobright dies. Johnny Nunsuch arrives, and tells them the message that Mrs. Yeobright gave him. Naturally, Clym is heartbroken to hear it. Eustacia feels responsible for the terrible situation. Analysis In the fourth book, the tragedy begins to play itself out. Small circumstances - like the misunderstanding about the guineas - conspire with larger problems - like the incompatibility of Clym's and Eustacia's desires - to cause heartbreak for many characters. Hardy uses pathetic fallacy in his description of the weather. The heat of July parallels the passion of the newlyweds, while autumn's arrival coincides with their cooling of passions. Their decline is not circumstantial, but rather tragically inevitable. They are both passionate and committed to their ideals - unfortunately, those ideals do not coincide. However, the mistake has been made; they are married. Their desire for happiness in earlier books led each of them to blindly assume he or she could change the other, and now they must see their tragedy play out. There is a sad irony in the conflict between Eustacia and Mrs. Yeobright, in that both ladies want the same thing for Clym. Both believe he is capable of greater pursuits than he can find on the heath, yet they never get the chance to bond over this shared interest. Instead, Mrs. Yeobright is predisposed to dislike her daughter-in-law, whereas Eustacia fallaciously believes this woman is her antagonist in trying to escape from the heath. Clyms near blindness is a literal and metaphorical statement. His relentless study has reduced his capacity to be an effective teacher, but his persistence in trying to force his education suggests he is not fit for it. Metaphorically, the blindness reflects his inability to 'see' those around him. His relationship with both Eustacia and his mother are declining. The three antagonistic growths he referred to in the previous book are all withering. His decision to cut furze can be seen as purely

selfish, since we as readers know the depth of Eustacia's suffering. However, he is so taken with the concept of being a man on the heath that he does not realize how it hurts his wife. The worst offense is his song, which makes Eustacia realize he has found an entirely different ideal, one which could make him happy on the heath, and not even require him to live in Budmouth. His song is a French lament, and Eustacia is consumed by the irony of this (since he once lived in France but refuses to return), whereas Clym sees only the heath, and feels pure contentment in the simplicity of his task. He acknowledges his change before her, saying "now I am a poor fellow in brown leather," but does not appreciate how deeply she feels this change as well (200). It is not surprising that Eustacia is drawn again to Wildeve. He has not shown her any new characteristic, but he brings both excitement and promise. Mostly, he is so different from Clym, even before he is awarded his inheritance. When Wildeve visits the house and Clym is asleep in chapter 6, Hardy notes the disparity between them: "The contrast between the sleepers appearance and Wildeves at this moment was painfully apparent to Eustacia; Wildeve being elegantly dressed in a new summer suit and light hat" (219). Further, she can engage momentary passions with Wildeve, while she is tied to Clym and must significantly sacrifice for him. When she covers her face to dance, it is symbolic of an exciting life that she thinks will now be impossible with Clym. Just as she chose the Turkish Knight disguise with Clym, Eustacia her asserts her power and control, since she can observe her effect on Wildeve without allowing him such access into her figure. In fact, Wildeve's moth message is a good symbol for their relationship. The moth is fatally drawn to the flame: their meeting is brief, passionate and both are extinguished. This process perfectly foretells the fate of Wildeve and Eustacia, since they could never forge a long-term relationship but are drawn towards each other nevertheless. Venn continues to work in the shadows to support his beloved Thomasin, but his actions serve to complicate rather than conclude matters. His attempts to dissuade Wildeve from seeing Eustacia serve only to fuel the latter's passion. By convincing Mrs. Yeobright to reconcile with her son, he sets in process a chain of events which will end both the relationship and her life. As noted in earlier section, Hardy notes the existence of nobility in humanity, but does not give it any supreme power. The most important event yet in the novel is Mrs. Yeobright's death. Her death by adder bite is reminiscent of the death of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, who allegedly committed suicide by allowing a poisonous asp to bite her. Both women had lost the man who meant the most to them: Cleopatras lover Mark Antony had committed suicide after a defeat in battle, and Mrs. Yeobright believes her son has abandoned her. The Oedipal conflict is difficult to deny in this section, especially when her final words piece Clym so terribly. Book Fifth: The Discovery Summary Chapter 1 - Wherefore Is Light Given to Him That is in Misery

Three weeks after Mrs. Yeobright's funeral, Humprey, a fellow furze cutter, visits Clymto see if he has recovered from the depression he fell into after his mother's death. Clym was so rattled by the message Johnny Nunsuch repeated that he is barely able to function. Eustacia has not yet told Clym about his mother's visit on the day she died. She does try to improve his spirits, to no avail. Thomasin also visits Clym, hoping to help. He asks her when she and Wildeve will leave for travel, now he has come into money. She says it will be after she has given birth to the baby with which she is pregnant. Wildeve visits the cottage one day, and Eustacia tells him of her secrets. Wildeve advises she keep the truth from him until he recovers, as the shock may kill him, but also insists that his presence in the house always be kept a secret. Chapter 2 A Lurid Light Breaks in Upon a Darkened Understanding A month later, Clym has brightened somewhat. One day, he is working in the garden when Christian Cantle brings news of Thomasin's newly born daughter. He also reveals that he saw Mrs. Yeobright on her way to Clym's house on the day she died. He remembers also that she had spoken with Diggory before leaving. Clym, confused by this information, sets out for his mother's house, intending that he and Eustacia should move there. While he is working on it, Diggory arrives, not knowing that Mrs. Yeobright has died. He is saddened to learn the news, and confusedly tells Clym how she was in such good spirits because of her intention to reunite with Clym. Clym, even more confused, decides to further interrogate Johnny Nunsuch. When he arrives at the boys house, he remembers that his mother is Susan, the woman who stabbed Eustacia in church. Johnny had in fact seen the whole incident, and he recounts it to Clym. He had seen Clym arrive, and then another man follow, all before Mrs. Yeobright walked to the door. When she knocked, Johnny saw a black-haired lady regard her through the window, but then ignore her knocks. Mrs. Yeobright then left. Clym immediately understands that Eustacia is involved, and blames her for the death. Chapter 3 Eustacia Dresses Herself on a Black Morning Clym returns home and challenges Eustacia to answer these new accusations. He breaks into her desk, and finds an envelope from Wildeve, containing no letter. Eustacia insists upon her innocence, but decides to leave after admitting that she did not unbolt the door when Mrs. Yeobright knocked. She trembles as she prepares to leave, and Clym ties her bonnet for her. Once she is gone, a servant calls to say that Thomasin and Wildeves child has been born, and is to be named Eustacia Clementine. Clym is not amused by the irony. Chapter 4 The Ministrations of a Half-Forgotten One Eustacia walks aimlessly a while, and then decides to return to her grandfathers house. He is not at home, and the house is closed up. Charley is there, however, and he climbs in to unbolt the door at her request. Seeing her pain, he fetches food for her as he recalls the joy of having held her hand long before.

Eustacia retires, and notices a brace of pistols by her grandfathers bed. On seeing these, she contemplates suicide. When she returns to the room later, however, they are gone. Charley had removed them after seeing her staring at them. Captain Vye returns home, and has her old room prepared, without asking any questions. Chapter 5 An Old Move Inadvertently Repeated Charley gladly takes on the responsibility of Eustacia's welfare. He places objects from the heath around her house, hoping they will catch her attention and cheer her up. Captain Vye tells Eustacia that Clym has moved to his mothers house in Blooms-End. Later, she sees Thomasin and her nurse walking with the new baby along the heath. November 5th comes around. Charley builds a bonfire for Eustacia, to cheer her up. Captain Vye recalls how Wildeve and Thomasins original wedding plans went awry one year before. Charley calls Eustacia to the fire. She is not really engaged with it until she hears a stone splash in the nearby pond. She investigates, and discovers Wildeve there. He believes she had set the fire as a message, as she did the year before, but she corrects his mistake. Nevertheless, he admits he cares for her, and she then asks him to help her plan an escape to Paris. She does not explicitly indicate whether she wishes him to join her on that journey. Chapter 6 - Thomasin Argues with Her Cousin, and He Writes a Letter At Blooms-End, Clym's feelings have softened, and he hopes daily that Eustacia will return to him. One day, he decides to visit Thomasin and Wildeve. There, he finds his cousin alone, and he explains the story of Mrs. Yeobright's visit to his cottage. Thomasin suggests he attempt a reconciliation. Later, Thomasin, who has suspicions about Wildeve's lingering feelings for Eustacia, questions him about the long walks he has recently been taking. She admits she followed him part of the way, and saw him head towards Captain Vye's home. He is angry at having been followed, and they decide not to speak on the subject any more. Chapter 7 The Night of the Sixth of November Eustacia has decided she wants to leave, and will let Wildeve bring her to Budmouth, from which she will travel on to Paris alone. It is a nasty night - so rainy and windy that it is difficult to move or see straight - but she is intent on leaving immediately. At 8pm on November 6th, Eustacia lights a furze branch as a sign to Wildeve. He signals back. Meanwhile, Clym has written a letter to Eustacia asking her to return. He entrusts it toFairway to deliver, but Fairway does not arrive at Captain Vye's house until 10 pm. Because the Captain believes Eustacia is asleep, he leaves it on the mantlepiece. Eustacia leaves the house to meet Wildeve at Rainbarrow. She realizes she has forgotten money, and worries that asking Wildeve for a loan will encourage him to join her on the journey. Meanwhile, Susan Nunsuch sees Eustacia passing by her house in the storm, and she constructs a wax effigy of Eustacia to negate the spell she believes Eustacia has placed on her children. She sticks the effigy with pins and melts it in the fire, repeating the Lords Prayer backwards as she does so.

Chapter 8 Rain, Darkness and Anxious Wanderers Clym waits desperately for a reply or a visit from Eustacia. He finally goes to bed, but is awoken by Thomasin, who believes Wildeve and Eustacia are going to abscond together because her husband has disappeared with a large stash of money. She has her baby with her. Captain Vye also arrives at Clym's home, looking for Eustacia. He has found her gone, and is concerned because of what Charley confessed to him about her potential suicidal thoughts. Clym and Captain Vye leave in search of the missing couple. Thomasin initially stays behind, but eventually grows so anxious that she bundles the baby and sets out to find Wildeve herself. The travel is hard because of the storm, but she encounters Diggory, who tells her he had seen another woman approach only minutes before. Diggory joins her on the search, and takes the baby to lessen her load. Chapter 9 Sights and Sounds Draw the Wanderers Together The narrative jumps back in time a bit. When Wildeve receives Eustacia's signal, he decides he will try not only to help her, but also to accompany her to Paris. He takes half of the inheritance, and rationalizes that leaving Thomasin the other half will assuage the pain of his desertion. It is difficult to determine his place on the heath because of the storm, and by the time he arrives near Rainbarrow, he encounters Clym, not Eustacia. Before they can confront one another, they hear the sound of a body falling into the water nearby, and rush to investigate. Meanwhile, Diggory and Thomasin have followed a light they see in the distance. When they approach, Diggory sees a bonnet floating in the water, and he sends Thomasin to fetch help. Three bodies are ultimately pulled from the water - Eustacia, Clym, and Wildeve. Clym is still alive, while Eustacia and Wildeve are dead. Charley wishes to see Eustacia's body, and Clym allows it. Clym immediately believes he is responsible for having caused the deaths of both the women he loved. Analysis In this Book, we see more than ever before how deeply Clym's guilt runs. He vacillates throughout this section between blaming Eustacia and blaming himself for Mrs. Yeobright's death. The most tragic development of all is that circumstances lead him to believe he has killed both the women he loves by the end of the Book. He notes to himself: "She is the second woman I have killed this year. I was a great cause of my mothers death; and I am the chief cause of hers" (293). However, this guilt is not entirely selfless. On the contrary, it is rather egocentric, as he sees losses in terms of how they impact his life, rather than in terms of how those around him are affected. At the end of Chapter 9, he notes, "I am getting used to the horror of my existence" (294). There is a willful focus and self-obsession on his part, even if it is centered around hatred and not self-love. The Book begins with a rather charged confrontation between Clym and Eustacia. His fury evokes that of Othello, in the latter's accustations to Desdemona. Though Eustacia is not in fact an adulteress, the fear of cuckoldry, of having one's pride sacrificed for another man, is so intense that it leads Clym to even discuss murder. He tells Eustacia he abstains from killing her only because he does not wish to make her a martyr. Because he is so defined by his own grief, he is blind to Eustacia's true pain. She has not betrayed him from sexual dissatisfaction or a lack of love,

but rather from a deeper dissatisfaction with her life. Her dreams have been shattered, and worst of all, she has nobody to speak to about it. Of course, she too is defined by self-obsession. The dramatic irony is the reader's awareness that Eustacia knows nothing of Paris, and has no way to support herself there. Her desire to escape is born from desperation, and in it she again rejects and ignores two instances of constant love. One comes from Charley, who continues to support her even in her shame, and the other from Clym, who we know would gladly reunite with her if she made the slightest overture. However, she is so predisposed to tragedy at this point that she engineers circumstances that facilitate her suicide. After all, the very least she could have done was wait for a less stormy night to escape, but she is subconsciously drawn towards the tumult, which represents her own dissatisfaction. The other symbol Hardy continues to use for her passion is fire. Ironically, the flames again reunite Wildeve and Eustacia, but she was not responsible for them. The transient nature of her passions are such that she is often even unaware of them. In fact, the flames of Eustacia's passions are not for Wildeve at all, but rather for the idea of escape. She admits to herself about Wildeve that, "hes not great enough for me to give myself to he does not suffice for my desire" (275). Of course, such quick, transient passions do not last, and it is not accidental that both lovers are vanquished by water at the end of the book. Their lives of brief passions lead to an equally violent smothering. Ultimately, Eustacia is destroyed by the heath, as she always feared she would be. It has the nature of a self-fulfilling prophecy, and touches on her tragic nature. She always wanted more than it was possible for her to have. And in truth, she is not overwhelmed by the heath, but she rather throws herself deliberately into it, by drowning herself. By constantly engineering situations that would breed disappointment - reuniting at the beginning with a man she did not love; marrying Clym despite his honesty about wanting to live on the heath; attempting to escape to Paris without much of a plan - she makes certain that her death is dramatic, violent, and tragic. This attitude stands in stark contrast to that of Thomasin, who plunges into the stormy heath heroically. As Hardy notes, "To her there were not, as to Eustacia, demons in the air, and malice and every bush and bough" (282). Her practicality is foremost in her mind, symbolized by the way she bundles her baby, and she survives even this great tragedy because of it. Of course, her complication is suggested by the name she gives her daughter - Eustacia Clementine - as though she is strong enough to confront even her worst suspicions, and to expect the best in people anyway. There is also an irony in the supernatural tinge at the end of this Book. Hardy introduces the supernatural aspect through Susan Nunsuch, who makes a wax effigy of Eustacia and then tortures it. However, in killing herself, Eustacia unwittingly clears her name. Traditionally, suspected witches were thrown into deep water, with the belief that witches would drown and innocent women would float. The fact that Eustacia floats proves she is not the malevolent spirit the community believes her to be. Wildeve, on the other hand, is completely submerged. (As an interesting sidenote, Wildeve had a more spiritual component in earlier drafts, in which he existed as Toogood the herbalist.) The tragic irony, of course, is that in clearing her name, Eustacia must confirm her own worst beliefs about her isolation from the community. When Charley, Diggory and Clym notice that Eustacia is "very beautiful" as a corpse, they reveal Hardy's tragic impulse. The most tragic events reveal the noblest and most beautiful in humans, while the beauty in humans can often engender the most tragic events.

Book Sixth: Aftercourses Summary Chapter 1 - The Inevitable Movement Onward The sad story spreads across Egdon and into other regions, becoming more exaggerated through the retelling. Thomasin bears her grief with humility, and is consoled through each stage by the changing seasons on the heath. She, baby Eustacia, and three servants move in withClym at Blooms-End, but are no solace to Clym, who remains depressed in his guilt. Clym lives frugally on his inheritance of 120 pound a year, bequeathed him by his mothers estate. Thomasin is similarly prudent with Wildeve's inheritance, as she wishes to give her daughter a comfortable future. Diggory Venn has saved enough money from his reddleman days to quit the trade and buy a substantial dairy farm. One day, he visits Clym and Thomasin at Blooms-End, dressed smartly and lacking the red stain of his former profession. Clym invites him to stay for tea, but Diggory declines, saying he came only to ask Thomasin's permission to erect a maypole outside of her property. She agrees, and is delighted by the scene of its construction, and the promise of May Day celebration. Thomasin dresses elegantly for the May Day festivities, and Clym suspects she does so to impress him, in hopes of facilitating a marriage between them. He is saddened by the idea, since he does not consider himself capable of such love. He decides to forgo the May Day celebration, and to remain by himself. Later that night, after the party has ended, Thomasin reproaches Clym for skipping it. Through the window, they see Diggory outside in the dusk, carefully searching for a glove that a local lady had lost during the afternoon. Realizing that such devotion is clearly a mark of love, Thomasin accepts that he must love another as he once loved her, and she is saddened to admit it. Chapter 2 Thomasin Walks in a Green Place by the Roman Road Not long afterwards, Thomasin realizes she has lost one of her new gloves, and asks her servant Rachel about it. Rachel admits that she wore the gloves to the Maypole dance, but lost one of them there. She confessed the loss to Diggory, who then searched for it and, when he could not locate it, gave Rachel money to replace it. Thomasin realizes that Diggory still loves her. One day, she is strolling when she encounters Diggory. She asks for the glove back, and they speak honestly and with affection. He confesses that he has relinquished all his feelings and is now totally devoted to making money. When Thomasin reveals that she has bequeathed her entire fortune to baby Eustacia, Diggory realizes that she is no longer socially superior to him, and so it is possible for them to forge a new friendship. Chapter 3 The Serious Discourse of Clym with His Cousin Clym remains deluded that Thomasin wishes to marry him. He, however, has no interest in having any relationship after Eustacia. He is further troubled to remember that his mother had always wanted them to marry, a remembrance that exacerbates his guilt. The narrator interjects that

children often make assumptions about a parent's desires, but that these assumptions are often incorrect. Clym devotes his life to only three activities: visiting his mothers grave, visiting Eustacias grave, and preparing to be a preacher. One day, Thomasin admits to Clym her interest in marrying Diggory. He promises to support her in whatever she decides, and she then announces that they will marry in the following month. Chapter 4 - Cheerfulness Again Asserts Itself at Blooms-End, and Clym Finds His Vocation A bit before the wedding, the locals are stuffing a mattress to give to the new couple.Grandfer Cantle discusses appropriate songs with which to serenade the newlyweds. Clym does not wish to take part in the wedding festivities, fearing that he will cast an unwelcome gloom on them. On the day of the wedding, he is walking along the heath when he meets Charley, who asks Clym for a keepsake of Eustacia. They walk back to Blooms-End, and Clym gives Charley a lock of Eustacias hair. Charley is moved to tears. Clym does not wish to join the wedding party taking place in Thomasin's half of the house, but he aks Charley to describe what he sees through the window. (Clym's vision is still poor, so he cannot see it himself.) Charley describes the merriment, Thomasin's seeming happiness, and a toast that the party takes. When Clym asks whether the toast is in in his honor, Charley says it is in honor of the happy couple. Once the party is finished, Thomasin thanks Clym for his hospitality, and hopes he will enjoy the peace of an emptier house. Clym again mourns for his mother. The Sunday after the wedding, Clym begins preaching moral sermons on the barrow and in surrounding areas. Many are moved by the honesty of his words, while others doubt his lessons. However, he is given a kind reception wherever he goes, as everyone knows of his tragic story. Analysis The opening of this Book is primarily concerned with grieving. Thomasin's grief is intense, but follows the natural trajectory of the seasons. "The spring came and calmed her; the summer came and soothed her; the autumn arrived, and she began to be comforted" (295). This connection not only ties Thomasin to the heath, but suggests that recovery from even tragic grief is part of a natural order. Her recovery coincides with her sexual awakening, which is symbolized both in tradition and in her by the May Day celebrations. May Day is traditionally an acknowledgment of the healing powers of spring, which replace the cold sterility of winter. When she dresses up, she might be doing so for Diggory, but she might also be accepting that she remains a young, sexual woman interested in a future with another man. Clym's grief, on the other hand, is entirely unnatural and based in his self-obsession. He is unable to see past his own guilt and grief, and he imagines the entire world as an extension of that. He refuses to allow himself any enjoyment, choosing to hide from the awakening of May Day in further solitude. Further, he refuses to celebrate life through his cousin's wedding. He claims he would darken the ceremony, and he is probably correct, if only because it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Clym reveals this when he asks Charley to report on whether he is missed at the

ceremony. It is unreasonable to think that the joyous wedding party would focus on an absence rather than the community gathered for it, but he is only interested in what confirms his self-hatred. It is not within his power to recognize that he could be part of the community if he chose. Yet again, Clym proves his own worst enemy. He refuses to let the world change him (as it does Thomasin), but instead settles on his ideas about his guilt and failure. Meanwhile, Diggory has proved the possibility of reinvention. When he first visits them in this book, the colors of his dress - white, blue and green - mark a dramatic contrast to the red that formerly defined him. That he is now one of the wealthier men on the heath is a reminder that we cannot assume that what we see is the full truth. Life changes us, both in tragic and wonderful ways, and we are left, like Thomasin, to react to those changes. Indeed, Thomasin proves both her pragmatism and romanticism in her pursuit of Diggory. When she believes he searches for another woman's glove, she accepts that she has missed her chance with him. However, when she learns that he still loves her, she quickly engineers the conversation that begins their new relationship. She has awakened from her grief, and is clearly stronger now, showing a forwardness more akin to Eustacia than the Thomasin we met in Book 1. However, the reality of money remains present. Diggory does not feel fit to pursue her until he learns that she herself has no money (it has all been bequeathed to baby Eustacia). If she still had Wildeve's small fortune, Diggory would not consider himself an appropriate match, but if she is in need of protection, then he feels entitled to pursue her. Clym's final vocation as a preacher is lovely and sad. In many ways, this vocation is only a slight shift from that of teacher. Both aim to console and raise the spirit. However, the difference is that, as an itinerant preacher, he is willfully alone, with only transient communities of listeners. He is much like Diggory was as reddleman. As he delivers lessons and morals to others, the reader has an opportunity to remember how so many circumstances conspired to engineer this sad end. Has Diggory arrived earlier than Wildeve at Blooms-End to propose, had Christian not lost the money to Wildeve, had Eustacia opened the door...all of these variations could have changed the way Clym's life turned out, but such is the nature of tragedy. Perhaps the most resonant image is Clym on the landscape. For all his suffering, the heath remains unchanged, barely touched by such momentous events. The tragedy is a human one, and it wil be washed away by time as is all else save nature. The Return of the Native Clym Yeobrights Mistake Below follows an extensive and academically popular character analysis of ClymYeobright. The Return of the Native is permeated by tragedy and loss. Even those characters who eventually find happiness towards the end of the novel - Thomasin, Diggory and to some extent, Clym - each had to overcome a trial of conscience that began with Clym's return to Egdon Heath. The return of the native Clym Yeobright - is the catalyst for the dramatic events which disrupt the natural order of the heath, and the lives of those who live upon it. Clym is a product of the heath, and was undoubtedly admired and respected for his intellect and potential. However, as both his wife and his mother believe, Clyms potential lies beyond the heath which made him. Clym became a diamond merchant in Paris after being apprenticed following his fathers death. In the early drafts of the text, Clyms travels were not so far flung, and seemed more credible. The change Hardy made only emphasizes how strongly he is distinct from his peers on the heath. Because of this exotic past, the heath dwellers welcome him as a curiosity and a wonder

- not as one of their own. Captain Vye is critical of Clyms chosen diversion from family tradition, and of the effects of education: "Ah, theres too much of that sending to school in these days! It only does harm" (85). Eustacia, on the other hand, is drawn towards this exotic quality. She is flattered to hear the laborers discuss how she and Clym would be well suited. What she does not perceive from these comments is that she and Clym have been connected as outsiders. The locals relate them together not because they are similar, but because they are both perceived as different from everyone else. Eustacia is considered haughty at best, and a witch by some. She does not mix with the locals, and is therefore distanced from them. Likewise, Clym is of the future a man with intelligence and experiences beyond their perception. It is this difference which draws people to Clym. Eustacia in particular is attracted to him because he is deemed exceptional. She loves him because he does not belong. Clym can be well understood through an allusion Hardy makes in the first chapter of Book 3, titled "My mind to Me a Kingdom Is." The chapter title comes from a poem by Sir Edward Dyer, which details the contentment of calm contemplation. The sixth stanza of Dyers poem exemplifies Clym Yeobrights outlook: Some weigh their pleasure by their lust, Their wisdom by their rage of will; Their treasure is their only trust, A cloaked craft their store of skill; But all the pleasure that I find Is to maintain a quiet mind Clym's "quiet mind" and contentement with life is at odds with Eustacia's lust and willfulness. Clym has rejected the the civilization and culture that Eustacia longs to know. Ironically, his learning makes him the only one who understands why he would reject such an exotic life. This irony is too difficult, however. As Hardy, says, "A man should be only partially before his time" (136). And yet, for such an educated and worldly figure, Clym remains socially nave. He cannot realize how fully he isolates himself, even from those he loves. He does not realize that Eustacia asks him to speak of Paris because she wants to go there. Because of this self-absorption, Clym is no closer to the people of Egdon than he was to the people of Paris. He loses first his mother, then his wife, both through his inability to understand them and their desires. Mrs. Yeobright believes he has forsaken her for Eustacia, and dies a broken hearted woman cast off by her son. Eustacia believes he has forsaken her future for his present. Clyms visual impairment, then, is as much a metaphor for his social ineptitude as it is a physical handicap. Even after Eustacia's death, he remains blind to people's emotions - he thinks Thomasin is trying to entice him when she has in fact simply moved on from her grief. He might be able to fine peace with his physical environment, but he is unable to engage with and understand the motivations of other people. Though he presumably spends the rest of his life in Egdon, Clym remains an outsider. He turns finally not to teaching, but to preaching. There is a significant difference. In teaching, Clym would

have been engaging minds to follow his example, and to appreciate life in the way he does. Preaching, however, involves delivering the instruction of a higher being, one who is not of the heath. Clym chooses to preach the doctrine that the Egdon folk recognize, rather than impart his own educational principles. He has perhaps realised that he does not intuitively understand his neighbors, or at least realized that they only share a sense of their smallness in the face of a larger universe.