Notes on Return of the Native Themes

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Return of the Native Topic Tracking: Fate

Fate 1: By chance, Captain Vye and the reddleman, Diggory Venn, walk on the same road. Captain Vye suspects that Thomasin Yeobright is in Venn's wagon, and unmarried. He will later tell his granddaughter, Eustacia, that Thomasin and Wildeve are not married.

Fate 2: It is a combination of fate and scheming that brings Eustacia and Clym together. Eustacia hears from Charley that the Christmas mummers will be performing at the Yeobrights', and she schemes to meet Clym by performing as a mummer.

Fate 3: Clym also takes advantage of fate to meet Eustacia. He learns from Sam that Captain Vye's bucket has fallen and that the heath-men are convening to fetch his bucket. Clym joins the rescue team so that he might meet Eustacia.

Fate 4: By chance, Venn is at the inn when Christian tells Wildeve and the other heath-men that he has Thomasin's and Clym's money. Venn will later win the money back from Wildeve after Wildeve ruthlessly gambles against the naïve heath-boy.

Fate 5: Venn sees Wildeve and Eustacia together. When he asks Thomasin where her husband is, she answers that he's left to buy a horse. Venn tells Thomasin that he saw her husband leading a beauty, but he means he saw Wildeve with Eustacia. Venn suspects that Wildeve might be seeing Eustacia.

Fate 6: It is fate that both Wildeve and Mrs. Yeobright call on Clym and Eustacia at the same time, and it is fate that Clym is asleep when the visitors call. Mrs. Yeobright believes that Eustacia ignores her for her other visitor, Mrs. Yeobright believes that her son has cast her off, and Eustacia believes that Clym will awaken and let his mother in.

Fate 7: Clym dreams that his mother is crying for him to help her inside her house, but in the dream, she cannot allow him in her house. His dream makes him resolve to reconcile with his mother, but it also symbolizes the trouble and turmoil his mother really is in. Clym's dream comes too late, for he never gets the chance to reconcile with her before she dies.

Fate 8: Charley lights a bonfire for Eustacia on the 5th of November as a surprise. Wildeve comes to call on her, thinking that he was summoned. Eustacia explains that she did not want him to come, but she easily falls into conversation with Wildeve and they scheme to flee the heath.

Fate 9: Clym writes Eustacia a letter begging her to return to him - but he sends the letter too late. Eustacia does not see the letter before she leaves to flee with Wildeve. If she had, she might have stayed on the heath to be with Clym.

Fate 10: Captain Vye places Clym's letter in the parlour, assuming that Eustacia will read it in the morning. He believes that Eustacia is asleep when he checks on her closed bedroom door, but when he sees the light flashing on the flagpole, he knows that she must be awake. He calls to her that she has a letter, but finds that she has already left.

Fate 11: Eustacia bemoans her desperate life and pleads with the heavens to change her life. She exclaims that she has done nothing to deserve her miserable fate - lonely, isolated, out of place, with nowhere to go and no one to turn to. She asks why fate is so miserable to her.

Fate 12: Thomasin stumbles upon Diggory Venn's wagon by chance when she is blown off course. She asks Venn to take her where Clym and Wildeve are; Venn intimately knows the heath and can head in any direction, undistracted by heavy rains or harsh winds. It is fate that Thomasin finds Venn, for he pulls Clym, Wildeve, and Eustacia out of the water - and manages to save Clym's life.

Fate 13: Clym is devastated by the deaths of his wife and mother, believing that he drove them to their deaths. He thinks that fate is cruel to him, for taking his life in this direction, but he manages to calm himself by taking walks on the heath. Being on the heath comforts him, and he is thankful that he is where he belongs.

Fate 14: Venn's search for a missing glove arouses curiosity and jealousy in Thomasin. It is fate that she catches him finding the missing glove and kissing it. Unbeknownst to Thomasin, it is one of her gloves that is missing. That she sees Venn holding the glove affectionately makes her wonder who Venn loves - and wish that she might be the one.

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