Notes on Objects & Places from Return of the Native

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Return of the Native Objects/Places

Rainbarrow: The largest barrow on the heath--the villagers refer to it as 'Rainbarrow.' Eustacia is first seen standing on top of its summit in the beginning of the novel, and later Clym preaches from this same place, using the summit as his pulpit. The heath-folk light the first bonfire here on the 5th of November.

Budmouth: The fashionable seaport city where Eustacia is from. She misses the vitality and the excitement of life there--the music, the dancing, the various cultures of the officers passing through. Venn offers Eustacia a job in Budmouth as a paid companion, but Eustacia refuses, as she is too proud to accept a job. She later schemes to escape the heath and flee to Budmouth.

Paris: Eustacia longs to escape the heath and settle in Paris. When she learns that Clym Yeobright is arriving from Paris--the most cosmopolitan and modern city in her eyes--Eustacia schemes to marry him. Clym, however, is frustrated and disgusted by the shallow, superficial business he runs in Paris and rejects the idea of returning. He hates the life of glamour and socializing that Paris represents, the life that Eustacia longs for. The more Eustacia yearns to live in the glittering world of Paris, the more Clym is determined to stay in the heath and do something significant with his life.

Blooms-End: Mrs. Yeobright's home is located here. Eustacia catches her first glimpse of Clym when he passes by her on his way here and later meets him again at the Yeobrights' Christmas party when she performs as a mummer. Mrs. Yeobright lives here alone after Clym moves out to marry Eustacia. Later, Clym moves back into his mother's home when Eustacia leaves him, and Thomasin joins him after Wildeve's death. Thomasin and Venn celebrate their marriage here.

Mistover Knap: Captain Vye's home is located here. Eustacia lives with him until she marries Clym and later returns when she and Clym argue. The Christmas mummers practice at the Vyes' fuel-house because the Vye property is roughly the center of the heath. Captain Vye chooses this spot to live because he can see the English Channel in the far distance.

Quiet Woman Inn: Wildeve is the owner of the inn. The heath-folk gather here many times, to gossip and gamble.

Shadwater Weir: The dam in the pool of water where Eustacia falls and drowns. Clym and Wildeve jump in to save her, but they, too, get caught in the current. Venn pulls all three out, though only Clym is revived.

Mrs. Yeobright's money: Mrs. Yeobright divides the 100 pounds of guineas her husband left between Thomasin and Clym. She does not trust Wildeve to pick up Thomasin's share and instead sends both Clym's and Thomasin's shares by a heath-boy, who promptly gambles the money away to Wildeve. Upon hearing that Wildeve has the money and that Clym did not receive his share, Mrs. Yeobright mistakenly accuses Eustacia of having Clym's share. Meanwhile, Venn wins the money back, and believing that the money belongs to Thomasin, gives it all to her.

Wax effigy of Eustacia: Susan Nunsuch, believing Eustacia has caused her son's illness, responds by making this effigy, a voodoo doll. She molds it from wax, dresses it like Eustacia, sticks pins in it, and burns it with satisfaction.

Wildeve's bank-notes: Wildeve inherits a fortune of eleven thousand pounds from a relative. He does not tell Thomasin that he is now a wealthy man; instead he schemes to flee the heath with Eustacia and elope with her. When he takes the bank-notes and runs, Thomasin suspects that her husband may be eloping with Eustacia, for he would not take so much money if he was only going on a short trip. After Wildeve's death, Thomasin inherits the fortune and spends all the money on their daughter.

Thomasin's glove: Thomasin's nurse loses one of Thomasin's gloves at the May-revel. Thomasin, unaware that the nurse wore her gloves, sees Venn searching for a missing glove belonging to his lover. When the nurse tells Thomasin that Venn had been searching for her missing glove, Thomasin knows that she must be the object of Venn's affections.

Eustacia's hair: After Eustacia dies, Clym gives Charley a strand of her hair, which the lovesick boy cherishes. Clym keeps several strands of Eustacia's hair, as they are his only reminder of his wife.

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