Study Guide

The Return of the Native Book 4, Chapter 4

By Thomas Hardy

Book 4, Chapter 4

Rough Coercion is Employed

  • Diggory Venn is a man on a mission. And that mission is to terrorize Damon Wildeve.
  • Diggory stalks him and manages to prevent Damon from heading over to Eustacia's house to see her.
  • Damon gets increasingly frustrated and starts using more covert means to talk to Eustacia. But Diggory shoots at Damon and drives him away from Eustacia's house.
  • Angry, Damon walks over to the local constable's house. But the constable isn't home and Damon eventually cools down and realizes that explaining why Diggory is shooting at him would just be awkward.
  • Meanwhile, Diggory goes to chat with Mrs. Yeobright. The two have bonded and he tells her about Clym going almost-blind.
  • Mrs. Yeobright still refuses to visit her son.
  • Diggory advises her to visit her son since it will deter Wildeve from hanging around, mooning over Eustacia.
  • Mrs. Yeobright praises him for his home-wrecker prevention plans but refuses to go see Clym herself.
  • We cut back to Clym and Eustacia now, who are discussing Clym's strained relationship with his mother.
  • Eustacia isn't very interested in the conversation and Clym gets a bit annoyed.
  • Eustacia then says that she wonders sometimes how many lives Clym has impacted by returning home.