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MonkeyNotes-Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
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Chapters 5-6

Summary

When Mrs. Yeobright visits Thomasin, she learns that her son and Eustacia are engaged to be married. She confronts Clym about the engagement, and they quarrel bitterly. He tells his mother that he will not tolerate her criticism of Eustacia or his plans any longer and plans to move out of her house. He goes to Eustacia and informs her that they must get married right away. He tells her he plans to rent a small cottage on the heath for them until he is able to set up a school and a home in Budmouth. Clym immediately moves out of his mother's house and into a rented cottage in Alderworth, where he plans to live with Eustacia for a few months after they are married.

After Clym has departed, Thomasin comes for a visit with Mrs. Yeobright, and she pours out all her woes. Though Thomasin utters all the right words, Mrs. Yeobright refuses to be consoled. Wildeve learns of Eustacia's impending wedding and is surprised at her plans. Since she is engaged and inaccessible, Eustacia again becomes very attractive to Wildeve, he always wants what he cannot have.


Notes

The Return of the Native is based on fate, which always has meaning in the novel, and Hardy implies that fate is not usually pleasant. "Once fate has loosed its arrow, there is no evading the barb." Mrs. Yeobright's arguments with her son are meant to dissuade him from marrying Eustacia and becoming a schoolteacher; fate intervenes to cause an opposite affect. Clym moves out of her house, pressures Eustacia into marrying him quickly, and becomes more determined to follow through with his plan to teach the poor and ignorant.

It is important to notice the description of Thomasin, where she is compared to different birds. A different feathered creature captures each of her moods. She is like a swallow in her serenity, like a kingfisher in her fear, and like a kestrel in her musing. The bird imagery shows how well versed Hardy is with all of nature's creatures and how much thoughtful observation has gone into each of his descriptions.

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MonkeyNotes-Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
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