Native Son: Book 2 Chapter 8

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Summary – Chapter Eight
The narrative shifts to Thomasin when she comes back inside after speaking to Wildeve. She says how he wants to marry her the day after tomorrow and she has agreed to it and would under any circumstances since she read Clym’s letter. He is away visiting friends and has heard about Thomasin and Wildeve not getting married previously. Her aunt re-opens it and reads it again. In it he says how ridiculous this story is about Wildeve and Thomasin and ends by asking what she has done to be jilted.
 
The conversation turns to the wedding and how it is to be on the day Clym returns. Mrs Yeobright then answers the door to Venn and when she returns she tells Thomasin another lover has come to ask for her. She says she told him it was too late, and Thomasin says ‘poor Diggory’.
 
On the morning of the wedding, Thomasin goes alone through choice. She walks a few steps, turns and runs back on seeing her aunt’s wet face, but finally quells her grief and sets off again.
 
The timing of the wedding was picked to avoid having the awkwardness of meeting Clym and when he comes home his mother tells him what has happened. Clym asks if she was right to let her go and says his mother should have looked into it more. His mother explains there was little else to do and he comes round to thinking it is a shame that neither of them are with her.
 
Clym leaves to do this, but a few minutes later he returns with Venn and Venn tells them she is now married. He explains Miss Vye gave them away, and Clym asks who she is and his mother explains. Venn does not reveal he took her there as he promised and nor does he mention how Wildeve’s face changed color when she lifted the veil to sign the book.
 
Venn leaves and is not seen in Egdon Heath for many months. The chapter ends with something Venn did not see from the gallery. When Thomasin was signing the book, Wildeve looked at Eustacia as though to say he has punished her. She replied that he is mistaken, as it gives her pleasure to see Thomasin as his wife.
 
Analysis – Chapter Eight
The marriage between Thomasin and Wildeve is seen to have come about because of his prior commitment to her, and the possible stigma that may be attached to her after being jilted by him. Furthermore, it is also engineered by Venn, Eustacia and Mrs Yeobright as each has his or her own reasons for this coming about. Love, it appears, has nothing to do with it as propriety and one-upmanship take over.
 
 
 

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