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Eustacia Vye played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in "The Return of the Native"

Eustacia Vye is the main character of the period romantic drama The Return of the Native

Eustacia Vye is an exotically beautiful woman who fall in love with Faka the alcoholic man.

She lives in the small and isolated village of Egdon Heath, in the Wessex, with his ancient grandfather. She was born in Budmouth, a fashionable seaside town.

Her beauty is astonishing, so she drives all the men near her completely mad. That, and her solitary and errant personality, feeds the rumor in the ignorant village of the 19 century that she's a witch who has many men under her spell.

At first Eustacia doesn't care too much about the rumors (even if she might show some concers about it to her grandfather). She is not in love with her suitors, and what she really wants is to abandon her isolated village, escape the hated heath and begin a grander, richer existence in Paris.

Eustacia is obsessed with Paris and tries to find a man who can bring her to the great city.

She dumps her former lover Damon Wildeve (who can't give her the future she dreams of) when Clym Yeobright, a successful diamond merchant, returns from Paris to his native Egdon Heath. Although he has no plans to return to Paris or the diamond trade and is, in fact, openly planning to become a schoolmaster for the rural poor, Eustacia sees him as a way to escape the hated heath and begin a grander existence in a glamorous new location.

With some difficulty, she arranges to meet Clym, and the two soon fall in love. Clym and Eustacia marry and move to a small cottage five miles away, where they enjoy a brief period of happiness. However: Clym studies night and day to prepare for his new career as a schoolmaster while Eustacia clings to the hope that he'll give up the idea and take her abroad to Paris someday.

Instead, Clym blinds himself with too much reading. Eustacia, has then her dreams blasted and finds herself living in a hut on the heath, chained to take care of her disabled husband.


At a dance, Eustacia encounters her former lover Damon who is still in love with her.

One day Eustacia went alone to a popular dance at the village and she found casually her former lover Damon Wildeve (who's now married and has a daugther). Damon said to Eustacia that he's still in love with her, and that he will rescue her from her marriage.

Later on, Damon comes calling on the Yeobrights in the middle of one hot August day and, although Clym is at home, he is asleep. Damon comes in and he and Eustacia talk. While Eustacia and Damon are talking, Clym's mother (who never aproved Eustacia and never came to see her son for years) knocks on the door; she has decided to pay a courtesy call in the hopes of healing the estrangement between herself and her son. Eustacia looks out from the window at her and then, in some alarm, ushers Damon out the back door.

She hears Clym calling to his mother and, thinking his mother's knocking has awakened him, remains in the garden for a few moments. When Eustacia goes back inside, she finds Clym still asleep and his mother gone. Clym, she now realises, merely cried out his mother's name in his sleep.

Clym's mother, thinking that she was deliberately barred from her son's home by both of them, she miserably begins the long, hot walk home and dies.

When Clym knew about the death of her mother and what her last words where (that she saw Eustacia at the window and that she didn't let her enter into the house) he rushes home to accuse his wife of murder and adultery. Eustacia refuses to explain her actions; instead, she tells him You are no blessing, my husband and reproaches him for his cruelty.

She then moves back to her grandfather's house, where she struggles with her despair while she awaits some word from Clym.

Damon visits Eustacia again on Guy Fawkes night, and offers to help her get to Paris. Eustacia realises that if she lets Damon help her, she'll be obliged to become his mistress. She tells him she will send him a signal by night if she decides to accept.

Clym's anger, meanwhile, has cooled and he sends Eustacia a letter the next day offering reconciliation. The letter arrives a few minutes too late; by the time her grandfather tries to give it to her, she has already signalled to Damon and set off through wind and rain to meet him. She walks along weeping, however, knowing she is about to break her marriage vows for a man who is unworthy of her.

Damon readies a horse and gig and waits for Eustacia in the dark. Thomasin, guessing his plans, sends Clym to intercept them.

Eustacia does not appear; instead, she falls or throws herself into nearby Shadwater Weir and dies. Damon


Eustacia with her husband Clym

plunges recklessly after Eustacia without bothering to remove his coat and dies.


Catherine Zeta-Jones portrays Eustacia Vye as a goodwill girl with a free-spirit that doesn't fit into the standars of the small village. She has the ambition of living in Paris, although that doesn't make her break her morals.

She dumped the unfitted Damon Wildeve since she was not in love with him and coudn't gave her the life she wanted, and she marry Clym with whom she falls in love. Even when Clym goes blind, she resigns to her desires to travel to Paris(a desire that is always in her mind) and takes care of her beloved husband.


Eustacia reads a book to her blind husband

But the insistence of Damon Wildeve to be with her and a series of bad-luck events make her seem into the eyes of the villague (and during sometime into the eyes of her husband) as a manipulator.

Felling trapped and unhappy Eustacia finally commits suicide.