The Return of The Native: Book 2, Chapter 6 - Summary & Analysis

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CHAPTER VI: The Two Stand Face to Face

Summary

Clym's Appearance

      Clym Yeobright's full appearance created a very good impression on Eustacia. Clym's face was really "one of those faces which convey less the idea of so many years as its age than of so much experience as its store". Clym's appearance already had substantial effect on Eustacia and from the conversation of the rustics, she came to know that Clym had inherited his excellent physique from his mother's side.

Eustacia's Jealousy for Thomasin

      In the Christmas party, refreshments were being served to the guests. Clym was going around socializing and serving drink and food to everybody. He even forced Eustacia to try some wine and then she accepted a glass. Then Clym went into the pantry to have a word with Thomasin and Eustacia seeing them talking felt jealous of Thomasin. Clym was not yet informed about Thomasin's painful broken marriage with Wildeve. So Eustacia at once had in mind that Clym might develop an emotional liking for Thomasin. She even felt that since Clym had seen her in a boy's attire she was unfortunate to loose his attention which she would have got much more if she had been in her original self.

Clym Saw Through the Disguise

      Clym followed Eustacia while she was on her way home and detained her asking whether his guess of her being a woman was correct. Eustacia admitted her disguise and told him that she had taken up the disguise in order to shake off her depression and to get some excitement.

Eustacia Fails to keep Her Appointment with Wildeve

      Eustacia was much agitated that night. On one side she was happy about her interaction with Clym but on the other side, she was disturbed by the thought of her passion for Clym ending in darkness. Her disturbance was much enhanced by the thought of Thomasin who would be living each day in close vicinity to Clym. Eustacia was supposed to meet Wildeve that night itself at eight O'clock, to give him a final answer for his proposal of elopement. Though she had only called him to fix up the time, she went to Mrs. Yeobright's house. Wildeve had probably come to the spot, waited there for Eustacia in the chilled atmosphere and went back disappointed. But this did not matter anyway to Eustacia as she wished that Wildeve should have married Thomasin, in the first instance. So that Thomasin would not have gained Clym's soft corner.

Critical Analysis

      This chapter is mainly concentrated on bringing the hero and the heroine together. They interact face to face in this chapter and Eustacia' jealous nature is also emphasized here. She cannot tolerate Clym getting closer to Thomasin.

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