The Return of the Native Book 2, Chapter 8 Summary
Firmness is Discovered in a Gentle Heart
Time for a flashback!
Clym is out visiting a friend and Thomasin comes in to tell her aunt that the wedding with Damon is back on.
Her aunt is cautiously optimistic about the whole thing.
Clym wrote a letter asking what's going on with Thomasin – he's shocked by the whole thing and wonders how Thomasin could "mortify" them so badly by getting jilted (2.8.14).
Thomasin and her aunt discuss the situation. Thomasin knows that Damon is a jerk but feels she should make the best of it. Marriage would solve the scandal problem, at least.
Diggory arrives in the flashback and we get the scene from Thomasin and Mrs. Yeobright's perspective this time.
Then we jump forward in time to the wedding day.
Thomasin is getting dressed and she elaborately braids her hair for the occasion, like she's Princess Leia or something.
Thomasin goes to leave but then rushes back to hug her aunt. The two cry and part sadly.
Clym returns home and asks what the deal is with Thomasin.
His mom tells him the whole story and Clym is upset that no one filled him in earlier.
Mrs. Yeobright tells him he doesn't know how hard it's been for Thomasin and to stuff it.
Clym decides to attend the wedding, but Mrs. Yeobright tells him it's probably over by now.
Diggory Venn shows up again and informs them that he spied on the wedding and everything went off without a hitch this time.
But then Diggory informs everyone that Eustacia Vye was in attendance and stood up with Thomasin.
The Yeobrights think it's bizarre.
The narrator busts in and tells us that Eustacia came to stick it to Damon and the two had a rather tense confrontation at the wedding.
Damon tries to gloat, but Eustacia knocks him down a few pegs by saying "You mistake; it gives me sincerest pleasure to see her your wife today" (2.8.104).
So, there's an odd scene in which Mrs. Yeobright throws her shoe at Thomasin as she walks away. What's the deal here? Was she really that mad about the wedding? Well, actually, tossing a shoe at a bride was a good-luck custom at the time. Weird, but true.