Have you met, Thomasin?

11 Dec

The Return of the Native coverThe Return of the Native –Book First, chapter V

Thomasin did not make a good first impression on me.  Oh, sure.  There was the whole sleeping in the back of the reddleman’s wagon because her wedding fell through, but what really got under my skin was her conversation with her intended.

Thomasin is speaking here…

“Here am I asking you to marry me, when by rights you ought to be on your knees imploring me, your cruel mistress, not to refuse you, and saying it would break your heart if I did.  I used to think it would be pretty and sweet like that; but how different!”
{Damon Wildeve}  “Yes, real life is never at all like that.”
{Thomasin}  “But I don’t care personally if it never takes place,” she added with a little dignity; “no, I can live without you.  It is aunt I think of.  She is so proud, and thinks so much of her family respectability….

I can live without you?  That what Thomasin says?!  I can live without you?

Okay, so Wildeve isn’t my favorite character either.  There’s something shading going on with getting the wrong wedding license and letting one’s fiancé run off, but Thomasin’s a little too Emma Bovary-ish for me here.  Is Tamsie marrying Wildeve just for the sake of marrying someone?  We’ve seen that happen before in WEM classics and the ending is never good.  Sometimes the beginning, middle and ending are pretty crummy.

Save your receipts, folks.  We might need to return some wedding gifts.

1 Comment

Posted by on December 11, 2012 in The Return of the Native


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One response to “Have you met, Thomasin?

  1. Patty Sessions

    December 12, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I think that’s Thomasin’s pride talking. She’s just been maybe-jilted, and she doesn’t want to beg. She’s saying that she isn’t all pathetic and miserable–though that’s exactly how she feels. She wants him to be all apologetic and on his knees, and he’s clearly not that upset, which must be very shocking and frightening for her. Doesn’t *he* want to get married? Well, if he doesn’t, she won’t beg!

    Meanwhile the aunt talks several times about how determined Thomasin has been to marry this guy, even though he’s not that great a prospect and there are two other men of equal or better prospects who want her.

    Later on, though, I think she does marry him because she feels like she has to. Her illusions have been broken and she doesn’t feel the same way about him anymore, but a) the disgrace is killing her, and b) she’s a determined sort of person who will stick to the course she has set. I do think it’s going to go badly. I’m on the reddleman’s side!

    (PS new name for me! Wish I could keep dangermom too)


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