Yeobright and the cousin of Thomasin Yeobright.
The story takes place in the fictional Egdon Heath, a picturesque area of moorland in rural England. The tale centers around several characters and their romantic entanglements. The book also puts great focus upon Egdon Heath itself. Some have called this geographical area an additional character in the novel.
The native of the title is Clym Yeobright. Clym, always known to be bright and different, has gone off to Paris, where he is pursuing a commercial career. When he returns home, presumably for a holiday, there is a lot going on in Egdon.
Damon Wildeve is bouncing between two women: After several near marriages, elopements and rejections, Wildeve eventually marries Thomasin. Clym and Eustacia are also attracted to one another and eventually wed.
She opposes both of their marriages. He also wants to marry Thomasin and spends a lot of time wandering the heath at night trying to prevent the unscrupulous Eustacia and Wildeve from hurting and betraying others.
To the dismay of everyone, Clym, who loves Egdon Heath, announces that he will not return to Paris but will instead stay in Egdon to start a school.
This dismays Eustacia, who wants to escape Egdon and live a glamorous life in Paris. When an eye injury forces Clym to take on physical labor in the countryside, he actually embraces the work and takes it on with joy.
This brings further consternation to Eustacia. The book is full of magnificent descriptions of nature. Egdon Heath, as well as animals, plants the moon, the stars, etc.
Hardy also embodies nature with all sorts of human characteristics. The opening description of the heath is famous but parts of it are worth quoting here.
The most thoroughgoing ascetic could feel that he had a natural right to wander on Egdon— he was keeping within the line of legitimate indulgence when he laid himself open to influences such as these.
Colours and beauties so far subdued were, at least, the birthright of all. Only in summer days of highest feather did its mood touch the level of gaiety. Intensity was more usually reached by way of the solemn than by way of the brilliant, and such a sort of intensity was often arrived at during winter darkness, tempests, and mists.
Then Egdon was aroused to reciprocity; for the storm was its lover, and the wind its friend. Then it became the home of strange phantoms; and it was found to be the hitherto unrecognized original of those wild regions of obscurity which are vaguely felt to be compassing us about in midnight dreams of flight and disaster, and are never thought of after the dream till revived by scenes like this.
And a little later, It was at present a place perfectly accordant with man's 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.
As with some persons who have long lived apart, solitude seemed to look out of its countenance. It had a lonely face, suggesting tragical possibilities. The above contains a suggestion of melancholy, mystery and profundity that typifies the heath throughout the novel.
As the passage indicates, the intensity of Egdon lies in its solemnity. The above is also full of connections and similarities between the heath and humanity.
I quoted just two paragraphs of description and allusion. There is much more throughout the novel. So much has been written about Egdon Heath.
These views ring true to me. A little research on my part indicates that while such heaths do exist in England, at no time was there one as large as Egdon Heath seems to be. Thus, like the human characters in the book, Egdon is a plausible but fictional creation. I would also argue that, like a well-crafted human character, Egdon Heath is a complex creation.
Many other characters in this book are complex and interesting. Eustacia is self-centered, fickle and dishonest.
Yet she is not completely malevolent, and at times the reader genuinely feels empathy for her. Clym is an impressive figure.The Project Gutenberg EBook of Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
"The Return of the Native: A Novel of Environment," in Modern Critical Views: Thomas Hardy, edited by Harold Bloom, Chelsea House, , pp.
Analyzes the novel's most conspicuous literary theme. The Return of the Native Characters. Egdon Heath; Clym Yeobright; Eustacia Vye; Mrs. Yeobright; Thomasin Yeobright; Damon Wildeve; Diggory Venn; Other Characters; Egdon Heath; The plot of the novel has been set in Edgon Heath.
Novelist portraits Heath as a living thing having its own characters. The Return of the Native Thomas Hardy. BUY SHARE. BUY! Home; Literature Notes; The Return of the Native Theme of The Return of the Native; Point of View of The Return of the Native; Clym (Clement) Yeobright Eustacia Vye Mrs.
Yeobright. Eustacia and Mrs. Yeobright do most of the acting here, while Clym literally sleeps through the whole thing. And his procrastination also plays a role in Eustacia's death. Clym waits around at home for Eustacia to come back while she's running around on the heath and then drowning. 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.