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Book 6, Chapters 3 - 4 Notes from Return of the Native

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Return of the Native Book 6, Chapters 3 - 4

Clym ponders the idea of a relationship with Thomasin. He knows his mother cherished a dream of Clym and Thomasin marrying, but he feels that his love for Eustacia has exhausted him. He also doubts that Thomasin would marry a man who is totally weary and exhausted from love. Clym finally decides to let Thomasin decide what to do. Before he can ask her, Thomasin asks him a question: if Clym, as her "guardian", should approve if she marries Diggory Venn. Clym is against the idea at first. When Clym hesitates, Thomasin declares that Venn is worthy of her now, seeing that he is no longer a reddleman, which is why Mrs. Yeobright had earlier objected to their marriage.

Knowing that Thomasin will not back down in her desire to marry Venn, Clym decides that Thomasin's happiness must come before his. He tells her that Mrs. Yeobright would have agreed to the marriage, now that Venn is a dairy farmer. After their talk, Clym hears from Humphrey that Thomasin and Venn are spending much of their time together. Clym dismisses Humphrey's claim that he try to win Thomasin's love, insisting that he cannot think about marrying after the deaths of his mother and wife. Clym tells Humphrey of his plan to start a night school and to preach. Thomasin later informs her cousin that she and Venn are to be married next month.

On Thomasin and Venn's wedding day, the villagers gather at Blooms-End and make a feather-bed as a present for the newlyweds. Grandfer Cantle sings them a song he plans to serenade Thomasin and Venn with later that night. They hear the wagon carrying the newly married Venns, and Clym and Venn's relatives from Budmouth come from the church and congratulate them.

Topic Tracking: Heath Customs 15

Everyone is cheerful and exuberant at Blooms-End, celebrating Thomasin and Venn's marriage, with the exception of a despondent Clym. His eyesight has improved, but he feels alone in the world. Taking a walk to Mistover, he sees Charley, also mournful. Clym realizes that Charley did genuinely care for Eustacia and recognizes Charley's pain. He agrees to give Charley something belonging to Eustacia. Clym leads him back to his home, where he gives Charley a cherished strand of Eustacia's black hair. Charley accepts the hair gratefully. Clym walks Charley back and, returning home, finds that the Thomasin and Venn are ready to leave with the baby and nurse. Thomasin and Clym bid each other a loving, if sad, farewell. Clym goes inside his empty house and sits in a chair opposite his mother's favorite chair, thinking about his mother.

The next Sunday after the wedding, the villagers gather again, this time at Rainbarrow. Standing at the summit of Rainbarrow, Clym is preaching a sermon, the first of a series of lectures called the Sermons on the Mount. Although Clym looks weary and thin, he speaks with great fervor and passion, stirring the villagers' spirits. Clym has found his vocation as a wandering preacher, speaking anywhere that will receive him.

Topic Tracking: Natives' Attitude Toward Heath 13

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