The Return of the Native | Study Guide

Thomas Hardy

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The Return of the Native | Characters

Character Description
Eustacia Vye Eustacia Vye is a young, handsome, ambitious woman whose magnetic allure and passionate nature make her the heroine of the novel. Full of contradictions herself, her acumen in spotting conflicts in her gentlemen admirers allows her to manipulate them deftly. Read More
Clym Yeobright Clym (Clement) Yeobright is the "native" of the novel's title. Intelligent, upright, and highly conscientious, Clym is portrayed as idealistic almost to the point of martyrdom. Read More
Damon Wildeve Damon Wildeve is a young innkeeper who has previously worked as an engineer. Often balancing two infatuations at the same time, he is dapper, handsome, and fancies himself a lady-killer. Read More
Thomasin Yeobright Thomasin (Tamsie or Tamsin) Yeobright is the shy, mild-mannered niece of Mrs. Yeobright and the first cousin of Clym Yeobright, her aunt's son. Although initially portrayed as naive and manipulable, she proves to possess surprising resolve as the novel progresses. Read More
Mrs. Yeobright Mrs. Yeobright is stern, upright, didactic, and inflexible. Socially, she believes herself to be the superior of the "heath people." Read More
Diggory Venn Diggory Venn is a young, itinerant reddleman, a tradesman who travels to sell reddle (red ochre or chalk for marking sheep) to farmers and shepherds. Good-hearted and resourceful, Venn becomes embroiled in the affairs of the Yeobright family, but he is consistently a force for good sense and prudent action. Read More
Christian Cantle Christian Cantle is Grandfer Cantle's son. Timid and somewhat feeble-minded, his major scene in the novel is the gambling match with Damon Wildeve, in which Christian loses the money entrusted to him by Mrs. Yeobright and intended for Clym and Thomasin.
Grandfer Cantle Grandfer Cantle is a garrulous, pompous elderly resident of the heath. In virtually all his speeches he refers glowingly to his military service in Britain's wars against Napoleon, singling out especially a campaign fought in 1804.
Charley Charley, age 16, is an employee of Captain Vye who loves puppies and has a crush on Eustacia.
Olly Dowden Olly Dowden is a resident of the heath who makes brooms.
Timothy Fairway Timothy Fairway is a middle-aged heath dweller who commands some respect from the other heath people, despite his rather pompous, smug demeanor.
Humphrey Humphry is a furze-cutter on the heath who is befriended by Clym Yeobright.
Johnny Nunsuch Johnny Nunsuch is the young son of Susan. He plays an important role in the novel on several occasions: for example, in building and maintaining Eustacia's signal fire for her meeting with Wildeve, and in helping Mrs. Yeobright during the latter's desperate return journey across the heath.
Susan Nunsuch Susan Nunsuch is a superstitious resident of Egdon Heath who thinks Eustacia practices witchcraft and has cast a spell on her young son, Johnny. To counteract what she believes is black magic, she conducts a bizarre ritual of exorcism.
Sam Sam is a turf cutter on the heath.
Captain Vye Captain Vye is Eustacia's elderly grandfather. He is somewhat prickly and eccentric.
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