Diggory Verm: Character in The Return of The Native

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      Diggory Verm is a reddleman by profession. Reddleman is a person whose business is to supply red colour to farmers with which they could dye sheeps. Hardy portrays him as a decent person who does not speak too much.

His Love Towards Thomasin

      He loves Thomasin very much. Even after he comes to know that Thomasin is in love with Wildeve, he adores her. Everpher rejection does not make any change in his attitude towards her and his most outstanding character trait is his long-lasting devotion to his lover even after her marriage. When she is in trouble, at the time when Wildeve plans to go with Eustacia he shows his willingness to transport her in his van to Blooms-End and deliver her to her aunt, but he looks after her interests even afterward, becoming a kind of guardian angel for her.

      When he finds that Wildeve is regularly paying a visit to Eustacia, he takes prompt steps to stop it. Once he shoots Wildeve to frighten him. But this results in Wildeve's decision to visit Eustacia at day time. But Diggory Venn's intentions are to keep Wildeve away from Eustacia so that he may go back to Thomasm.

His Disillusionment

      Venn informs Mrs. Yeobright about Wildeve's involvement in the life of her son and niece and he persuades her to go to Clym's house. As a result of his advice, Mrs. Yeobright's intentions to get reconciled with Clym becomes stronger. His actions result in the visit of Mrs. Yeobright to Clym's house and the decision of Wildeve to visit Eustacia at day time because he was shot at during night. Venn's intentions go awry as the opposite things happen to each of his actions. He also acts as a source of information to Clym. It is through this reddleman, that Clym comes to know that his mother came there to reconcile with him and that she had no grudge against him. Hearing this, his grief over the death of his mother becomes more intense.

His Timely Rescue of Clym

      When Eustacia falls into the pool, both Wildeve and Clym jump into the water in order to save her. He arrives at the spot soon with two others and saves Clym and brings out the bodies of Wildeve and Eustacia.

His Marriage with Thomasin

      Hardy devotes an entire section as "After courses" which comes after the end of the main story. Here the major development is the marriage of Thomasin with Venn and the transformation of Clym as a preacher. Venn considers it as his responsibility to save Thomasin from her present predicament. He decides to marry her. Thomasm too has no more aversion towards him. They get married with the well-washes of Clym. The story thus ends with cheerful note, with the marriage of these two.

His Significance

      Diggory Venn, the reddleman, seems to personify the inter-play between the ballad tale and the country environment that gives to Hardy's best novels their unique quality. He plays a major role as far as the development of the story of The Return of the Native is concerned. Venn is not a dreaming person. He is practical as well as effective because Hardy represents him with detached accuracy as a particular practitioner of a particular trade. Venn is unselfish, still and deep like Hardy's portrayal of Gabriel Oak in Far from the Madding Crowd.

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