What is the summary for Chapter 8 of The Blithedale Romance?

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As spring advances, the Blithedale community celebrates May Day, albeit belatedly to avoid the remnants of wintry weather. Coverdale is not sure if this was Zenobia’s idea or the wish of the community as a whole. During the festivities, Priscilla epitomizes spring itself, with youthfulness, joy, and effervescence. Coverdale especially notices how she personifies the season, and is tweaked by Zenobia for not putting the sight into poetry. Yet during her cavorting in the fields, she suddenly seems subdued and retreats by herself until Hollingsworth leads her back to the group.

The residents of Blithedale are enjoying working the land, under the supervision of Silas Foster. They are becoming more robust, tanner, healthier, and more in tune with the soil. The community grows with both permanent residents and temporary travelers, who come to Blithedale for a spiritual retreat.

Zenobia chides Coverdale for not putting all this into poetry, but Coverdale points out that one cannot be a poet and a farmer at the same time. Zenobia teases him that he will turn farmer yet, and forsake the pen for the plow. Hollingsworth, joining the conversation, states that he does not believe that Coverdale’s heart is in either, and will never truly succeed in either. Zenobia joins Hollingsworth’s side in the argument. Coverdale concludes that Hollingsworth is rapidly making disciples of the resident women, while he remains hesitant about a commitment to the Blithedale ideal.