Monday, December 10, 2012

The Return of the Native: Book Fourth

The Closed Door

Misunderstandings and Assumptions

There are plenty of misunderstandings forcing unnecessary emotions, and Mrs. Yeobright is behaving like a jealous ex-girlfriend.  Understandably, she doesn’t understand why Clym has not yet contacted her about the inheritance that was supposed to be delivered to him.  When Christian tells Mrs. Y what really happened – the money was gambled away into the hands of Damon Wildeve - she is certain that Wildeve gave that money to Eustacia.  And when Mrs. Y confronts Eustacia, they have such an awful argument; it seems there will never be reconciliation. 

Eustacia is becoming restless on the heath and impatient with Clym’s decision to remain there; to make matters worse, he injures his eyesight by continuous reading…is this possible???  Because he finds honor in labor, he cannot remain idle until his eyesight heals; therefore, he takes up work as a furze-cutter, which is a burden to Eustacia’s dreams.   And the newlyweds argue about her loss of love since his uncompromising condition.  Was it really love in the first place?

More Speculations and Suspicions

One night Eustacia attends a dance on the heath by herself and coincidently meets Wildeve, who is also there by himself.  They dance together and then walk home, until they see Clym and Diggory Venn coming; Wildeve takes off before they meet up, but Diggory already sees him.   Diggory incorrectly suspects and assumes that Wildeve is pursuing Eustacia again, and that she is encouraging him.  Later, Diggory is successful in foiling Damon’s plot to see Eustacia again at her home, and this adds to his suspicions of what is going on.

Diggory visits Thomasin and learns that Damon is not home very much; and he also visits Mrs. Yeobright and convinces her to call on Clym and reconcile with Eustacia, as well as become a presence at Thomasin’s, in hopes that Mrs. Yeobright’s involvement may keep Damon and Eustacia from seeing each other.

Mrs. Yeobright to Make Amends and More Assumptions

Mrs. Y makes the treacherous walk across the heath in the heat of the day to Clym’s house.  From a distance, she thinks she sees her son working as a furze cutter and witnesses him enter his house.  She also sees a suspicious man around the home, approach the door, and enter.  

Inside the home, Clym is asleep and Eustacia is entertaining conversation with the suspicious man, Damon, whose only desire it is to see Eustacia again.  Suddenly, there is a knock at the door.  It is Mrs. Y.  Eustacia does not want to face Mrs. Y, and she sends Damon out the back door, assuming Clym is going to wake up and let his mother in.  But Clym never wakes up, and Mrs. Y believes that Eustacia has convinced her son not to let his mother in.  She is heart broken and heads home.

Clym to Make Amends Too Late

When Clym eventually wakes, he coincidently decides to set out to reconcile with his mother without knowledge that she was at his door that very day.  Eustacia did not tell him.  When he sets out, he comes upon his mom lying in the heath; an adder had stung her.

Meanwhile, Eustacia sets out to meet her husband returning from his mother’s house and instead meets Damon, who never goes home, and they begin to walk together.  But they see a group gathered around someone on the heath, and they learn it is Mrs. Y.  She is dead.  Dead from an adder sting, and heart broken from her son's rejection.

Eustacia concludes: “I am to blame for this.  There is evil in store for me.”


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