The Return of The Native: Book 1, Chapter 4 - Summary & Analysis

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CHAPTER IV: The Halt on the Turn-Pike Road

Summary

Olly's Views on Wildeve's Character

      As Olly and Mrs. Yeobright proceeded they talked about Thomasin's marriage with Wildeve. Mrs. Yeobright admitted that after her initial opposition to the match, she eventually agreed because she realized that it would be better for Thomasin to marry a man of her choice. Olly also said that Thomasin's feelings had got the better of her and that Wildeve was a man of ample means and had the manners of a gentleman.

Mrs. Yeobright meets the Reddleman

      As Olly turned to her own house, Mrs. Yeobright continued to walk towards "The Quiet Woman" inn to meet her niece and Wildeve who were supposed to return from their wedding at Anglebury that day. Getting closer to the inn, she spotted the reddleman's wagon and so approached the reddleman asking him whether he wanted to see her. The reddleman told her that he had some bad news for her. He said that he had met Thomasin on the road side about a mile out of Anglebury who had sought his help. He felt that she was in trouble and she had fainted. So he had lifted her and put her in his wagon. On regaining consciousness she had started crying and told him that she was supposed to get married that morning. Mrs. Yeobright, feeling concerned about her niece's welfare, peeped into the wagon and found Thomasin lying asleep. The next moment Thomasin awoke and told her aunt that she had come back in wretched condition. She then got down from the wagon and started walking homewards in Mrs.Yeobright's company. On the way, Mrs. Yeobright asked her niece in a stem voice what had happened.

Critical Analysis

      The story makes a move in this chapter. On the one side we find Thomasin in a miserable condition and has returned without getting married and on the other hand though Mrs. Yeobright is kind and sympathetic to her niece, she is also very strict and stem.

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