Return of the Native Characters
by Thomas Hardy
EustaciaThe 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 VyeA former seaman, Captain Vye lives with his granddaughter Eustacia on the heath, from which he can still see 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.
WildeveDamon 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.
ThomasinA innocent heath girl who nevertheless learns to think pragmatically, Thomasin Yeobright goes against her aunt Mrs. Yeobright’s wishes when she marries Wildeve. She is cousin to Clym Yeobright. Thomasin eventually finds happiness with her dedicated admirer, Diggory Venn.
ClymThe 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.
DiggoryDiggory 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. YeobrightAunt 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 CantleA sprightly but aged local who enjoys the social events in the parish. He is grandfather to Christian Cantle.
Christian CantleA 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.
FairwayOne of the local labourers, Timothy Fairway cuts the men’s hair on Sundays, which provides an important social ritual and a chance for local gossip.
Susan NunsuchMother 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 NunsuchA young man believed by his mother to be bewitched by Eustacia Vye. He tends Eustacia’s signal fire to Wildeve, and carries Mrs. Yeobright’s final words.
CharleyA 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.
OllyThe local besom maker, Olly Dowden dances with Grandfer Cantle at the November 5th bonfire, and escorts Mrs. Yeobright to meet the reddleman.
HumphreyOne of the furze cutters. It is Humphrey's parents whom Timothy Fairway saw had signed the marriage register just before he did.
RachelRachel is Thomasin's servant who loses her mistress's glove and thereby sets in motion the final pairing of Thomasin and Diggory.
baby EustaciaThe baby daughter to Thomasin and Wildeve.
Return of the Native Essays and Related Content
- Return of the Native: Major Themes
- Return of the Native: Essays
- Return of the Native: E-Text
- Return of the Native: Questions
- Return of the Native: Purchase the Novel and Related Material
- Thomas Hardy: Biography
- Return of the Native Summary
- About Return of the Native
- Character List
- Glossary of Terms
- Major Themes
- Quotes and Analysis
- Summary and Analysis of Book First: The Three Women
- Summary and Analysis of Book Second: The Arrival
- Summary and Analysis of Book Third: The Fascination
- Summary and Analysis of Book Fourth: The Closed Door
- Summary and Analysis of Book Fifth: The Discovery
- Summary and Analysis of Book Sixth: Aftercourses
- The Return of the Native – Clym Yeobright’s Mistake
- Related Links on Return of the Native
- Suggested Essay Questions
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 1
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 2
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 3
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 4
- Author of ClassicNote and Sources