The Return of the Native
by Thomas Hardy
The Return of the Native Book 1, Chapter 5 Summary
Perplexity among Honest People
- Thomasin isn't married after all, which is hugely scandalous.
- Her aunt is shocked.
- Turns out, Wildeve, first name Damon, did something wrong with the marriage license.
- Thomasin is upset but she doesn't try to avoid blame in the situation – she panicked and ran off after the marriage snafu, which probably didn't help matters at all.
- Mrs. Yeobright drags her niece off to see Damon, which is just awkward.
- So Damon answers the door and proceeds to confirm Thomasin's narration of the events.
- Damon asks for some private time with his (still) bride-to-be. The couple hashes out their situation.
- Damon is being grumpy – he's still mad at Mrs. Yeobright for publicly disapproving of the engagement (fair enough).
- But he insists he still wants to marry "Tamsie." Thomasin's mood improves.
- Suddenly, the bonfire crew all show up, in high spirits. They've come to welcome the married couple.
- The group decides to sing a song too, just like in Oklahoma.
- Wildeve and the Yeobright women decide to just pretend like everything is cool until the party people go away.
- Wildeve has a drink with the guys. He's kind of a jerk to them all.
- Fairway regales everyone with the story of his wedding day.
- The group gossip and stand around drinking Wildeve's alcohol.
- Fairway mentions that the bonfire over at Captain Vye's house is still burning.
- Wildeve glances out the window at it and seems very interested. Intrigue.
- The group gossip about the bonfire and Vye's granddaughter – rumor has it, she's a witch.
- Finally the group leaves.
- The Yeobright women have also left.
- Wildeve then starts talking to himself like he's in a play doing a soliloquy or something.
- But he helpfully informs us that he has a thing with Vye's granddaughter and that the fire is some sort of signal.
- So he heads off to visit her.
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