The Return of The Native: Book 3, Chapter 8 - Summary & Analysis

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Chapter VIII: A New Force Disturbs the Current


A Gambling contest between the Reddleman and Wildeve

      Wildeve was encountered then, by the reddleman who surfaced from behind the bush. The reddleman invited Wildeve to engage in a gambling contest with him and Wildeve was interested in accepting the invitation. When they started playing, the game fluctuated in favor of both for the first twenty minutes. Without anybody being advantageous. Then, the game went in favor of the reddleman who started winning. When Diggory had already won sixty guineas, Wildeve felt aggravated and frenzied. The reddleman was continuously being favored by the fortune and he went on winning till Wildeve was just left with twenty-one guineas. Wildeve was now playing with the recklessness of despair. Suddenly, the light of the lantern in which they were throwing the dice went off. Soon, Wildeve collected a dozen glow-worms and the game continued. Eventually, the reddleman won the entire amount.

The Reddleman Passed on the Money to Thomasin

      Wildeve was moving home-wards when he saw a carriage in which Eustacia and Clym were sitting very close to each other who had just got married and were proceeding towards their new house. Little later the reddleman stopped their carriage on the way and inquired about Thomasin to whom he had to give some parcel from Mrs. Yeobright He learned from them that Thomasin would soon be coming. The Reddleman waited in the same spot and after a while, Thomasm appeared there seated in Captain Vye's carriage. The reddleman stopped her and gave her the parcel containing the hundred games sent by Mrs. Yeobright. The only words which he had overheard from behind the bush were that the money belonged to Thomasin.

Critical Analysis

      We again get a picture of the Reddleman's character as an extremely sincere and good-hearted person, in this chapter. His action raises his position in our estimation. This chapter only contains one misunderstanding by the reddleman regarding the division of the guineas and we feel happy to see Wildeve properly been served.

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