!!> BOOKS ✸ Jude the Obscure ✮ Author Thomas Hardy – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Jude the Obscure

  1. says:

    i have just discovered betterbooktitles.com, so i am including this, but it is a total spoiler, so be warned view spoiler hide spoiler jude the obscure is one of my favorite books of all time and reading the biography of him now is making me very antsy to reread this it used to be part of my summer reruns ritual to reread all my favorites each and every summer then i got old and realized that kind of thing was a luxury i would have to give up, or risk missing out on all kinds of b i have just discovered betterbooktitles.com, so i am including this, but it is a total spoiler, so be warned view spoiler hide spoiler jude the obscure is one of my favorite books of all time and reading the biography of him now is making me very antsy to reread this it used to be part of my summer reruns ritual to reread all my favorites each and every summer then i got old and realized that kind of thing was a luxury i would have to give up, or risk missing out on all kinds of books that are currently crowding my shelves and toppling over on my floor jude the obscure was introduced to me at the tender age of 13 i was taking some stupid study skills class, and the teacher, always prone to leaving the topic and talking about her life on the streets of lean mean central falls and imparting life lessons knife lessons to all of us was musing one day and said if you ever want to read the most depressing book of all time read jude the obscure well, i am a title collector to this day and i squirrelled it away in my little notebook, and came across it at theperfect jude age of 15 man, she wasn t kidding what an amazing piece of writing poor jude and his ambitions, his poor choices in love if a woman throws a pig s penis at you and you take it as a declaration of love, you are on the road to some pain, my friend but it has everything the hypocrisy of the church and the delicacy of woman s place in academia and the danger of breeding super precocious children it s hardy, so everything ends poorly for all involved, but it is done with such a stunning touch, you find yourself panting at its beauty somebody might have come along that way who would have asked him his trouble, and might have cheered him but nobody did come, because nobody does i mean, really it just chills for me and my knife skills are top notch.come to my blog


  2. says:

    If you like sunshine, unicorns, and lollipops, then you probably won t like this book If it s raining and you re vaguely manic depressive or if you just want to sit around for a few hours and feel sorry for someone other than yourself well, Jude s your man I can t fault Hardy s talents at controlling the mood Even before it became horrendously horrendous, there was a pall of doom that hung over everything that poor Jude touched.


  3. says:

    Thomas Hardy ended his brilliant career writing novels with this book, Jude the Obscure because of the adverse reaction in Victorian England , this was thought unseemly immoral not a decent product , you didn t parade such filth to the public but he did, almost fifty years too early yet liking poetry, it was not a hard decision for him to stop back to his first love making exquisite poems In the tail end of the 19th century two intelligent but undisciplined rather immature first cousi Thomas Hardy ended his brilliant career writing novels with this book, Jude the Obscure because of the adverse reaction in Victorian England , this was thought unseemly immoral not a decent product , you didn t parade such filth to the public but he did, almost fifty years too early yet liking poetry, it was not a hard decision for him to stop back to his first love making exquisite poems In the tail end of the 19th century two intelligent but undisciplined rather immature first cousins, meet and fall in love, Jude Fawley and pretty, independent Sue Bridehead Jude s great ambition is to better himself attend the university at Christminister, Oxford studying alone , friendless for ten long years Latin, Greek and ancient classical literature, in the small country village of impoverished Marygreen, the orphan living with an unsympathetic cold , great aunt Drusilla the spinster, she warns him about the many bad marriages in the family, not caring but instead seeing the far distant glorious lights of the fabled city, the poor boy has the gift but lacks money or family connections, in a class conscious society he wouldn t be welcomed at schoolBefore encountering Sue, her mother dead and estranged from the father, Jude makes a tragic error in judgement marrying the scheming, coarse Arabella Donn, the daughter of a pig farmer she forces him to the altar by a lie, she was in trouble sorry a mistakehe pursues a profession he hates being a stonemason, having learned earlier the skill as a boy still all his hopes, dreams, fantasies are crushed scattered to the wind his detested life in poverty will always be, for the would be scholar Arabella exits, to the other side of the world Australia, they are not compatible no surprise, too many disagreements and Sue enters for a short time until Mr.Richard Phillotson Jude s old schoolmaster, mentor in Marygreen and only friend, gives Sue a job as a teacher in a nearby town, at the urging of Mr.Fawley she needed the job, people are not comfortably the cousins living together innocently they say, especially in the Christian city of ChristministerThe school instructor twenty years Sue s senior asks her to marry him she agrees, even as her love for Jude grows, Miss Bridehead thinks it will be for the best into a respectable situation, live as a decent woman and not being a burden to Jude just one little problem arises, she loathes the kindly, thoughtful, unattractive gentleman something makes her skin crawl when he touches her and the feelings won t leave Sue and Jude constantly meet, talk and kiss the passion is there but the complications are too Every time Jude passes the university on the street, his sad eyes observe, the mind wonders the ache begins for what might have been, he can never forget


  4. says:

    799 Jude The Obscure, Thomas HardyJude the Obscure, the last completed novel by Thomas Hardy, began as a magazine serial in December 1894 and was first published in book form in 1895 Its protagonist, Jude Fawley, is a working class young man, a stonemason, who dreams of becoming a scholar The other main character is his cousin, Sue Bridehead, who is also his central love interest The novel is concerned in particular with issues of class, education, religion and marriage 799 Jude The Obscure, Thomas HardyJude the Obscure, the last completed novel by Thomas Hardy, began as a magazine serial in December 1894 and was first published in book form in 1895 Its protagonist, Jude Fawley, is a working class young man, a stonemason, who dreams of becoming a scholar The other main character is his cousin, Sue Bridehead, who is also his central love interest The novel is concerned in particular with issues of class, education, religion and marriage 1984 400 1362 600 1372 7


  5. says:

    Finallly read it This one was so often interrupted and left for dead I guess it was better to keep straining the eyes and pausing after glorious upon glorious sentence for better understanding Yeah he s one of those authors often times associated with Greatness, with good reason The Return of the Native is another interrupted and altogether discarded novel which had incredible prospects This one rollercoasters from Dickensian beginnings Jude the pauper and dreamer to omnipresent tr Finallly read it This one was so often interrupted and left for dead I guess it was better to keep straining the eyes and pausing after glorious upon glorious sentence for better understanding Yeah he s one of those authors often times associated with Greatness, with good reason The Return of the Native is another interrupted and altogether discarded novel which had incredible prospects This one rollercoasters from Dickensian beginnings Jude the pauper and dreamer to omnipresent tragedy yes Shakespearean modern, too Jude is an Everyman cursed by an even larger figure the pre feminist minx In the case of Jude, being associated to a woman in a then bizarre two in one ness is The Fatal Flaw not just to any woman Sue Bridehead, a Bovary ian counterpart, is ambivalent and mean and unromantic Of course she will singlehandedly betray Jude s affections, break his heart She is a sad drama queen, every woman in this novel is an antagonist There is a downfall to this modest Everyman, sure, and though it is propagated by his unfortunate mistake of falling for a BITCH, there are outside influences which too contribute to the misery that pervades.Jude is an idiot, of course, and the moral is clear, though other themes insert themselves with automatic ambition, themes such as Marriage this book should be mandatory for anyone studying the rituals of the dreadful lawful union , Christianity, Urban Sprawl, Social Decay, Shattered Dreams, Lowly Expectations.It is a difficult read, and I am happy to put it behind me It is a sure fire classic, as grand a production as any writer can produce I will read it again when I havetime patience I predict within the next ten 15 years


  6. says:

    But his dreams were as gigantic as his surroundings were small I realize wistfully that I cannot revisit all books I read and loved a long time ago Oh, how I regret not having an endless existence to go back and revisit my most precious memories However, I have so many new celebrated novels yet to explore I read Jude the Obscure when I was in college, I was so young but used to read whenever I did not have class or did not have to study If I remember correctly, I discovered it in an EnBut his dreams were as gigantic as his surroundings were small I realize wistfully that I cannot revisit all books I read and loved a long time ago Oh, how I regret not having an endless existence to go back and revisit my most precious memories However, I have so many new celebrated novels yet to explore I read Jude the Obscure when I was in college, I was so young but used to read whenever I did not have class or did not have to study If I remember correctly, I discovered it in an English Literature class I was exposed to marvels through it that are never far away Yes, I loved Thomas Hardy s appealing protagonist I liked that he wanted to advance himself, but no effort would be enough for him to rise above his social status in those times He is continually knocked out in his aspirations His love life is nosuccessful, as he seems to choose unsuitable womenPeople go on marrying because they can t resist natural forces, although many of them may know perfectly well that they are possibly buying a month s pleasure with a life s discomfort Thus, Jude represents almost every men of his time in England or maybe many other places From the title we understand that he is an obscure man for his choices make no sense If I remember correctly, all along we are reminded of what could have been Nothing could bemelancholic Despite my lack of maturity at the time I read it and the gloom that involves the novel, a feeling of amazement still rises in me when I think of it Thomas Hardy must have been a master to inspire me so at my youthSomebody might have come along that way who would have asked him his trouble, and might have cheered him by saying that his notions were further advanced than those of his grammarian But nobody did come, because nobody does and under the crushing recognition of his gigantic error Jude continued to wish himself out of the world I might one day yet decide to go back to this great book.___ Note quotes from Goodreads.


  7. says:

    3.5 5To read of Tess or Jude I was completely undecided, so took the action of a coin toss to decide for me.Problem, had not a penny in my pocket, so whisked out a visa card and launched it across the room Frontside up TessBackside up JudeJude it was then Don t worry Tess, you will have your day He might have won my card toss but there is no winning in Hardy s final novel A novel of such bleak and devastating intensity it s little wonder he finally called it a day Stirring up a feel 3.5 5To read of Tess or Jude I was completely undecided, so took the action of a coin toss to decide for me.Problem, had not a penny in my pocket, so whisked out a visa card and launched it across the room Frontside up TessBackside up JudeJude it was then Don t worry Tess, you will have your day He might have won my card toss but there is no winning in Hardy s final novel A novel of such bleak and devastating intensity it s little wonder he finally called it a day Stirring up a feeling of failure and disappointment in life, the protagonist Jude Fawley is a scholarly chap who aspires from an early age to study in the university town of Christminster, situated in Hardy s fictional county of Wessex, become a clergyman, and distinguish himself in the world.But two women would enter his life, Arabella and cousin Sue, to ruin everything..His tragic story moved me in such a way that was almost unbearable, too painful to comprehend, the light at the end of the tunnel didn t even exist Jude is brought up by his old Aunt and is devoted to a local schoolmaster, Phillotson, and dreams of following in his footsteps after he moves to the Oxford like town of Christminster He builds a fantasy life for himself, and believes this is based on his entire destiny, well, that is until the selfish Arabella Donn enters the frame, followed by unhappy Sue Bridehead What happens next , we have murder suicide, failed marriage, a miscarriage, deathly illness and loss of faith, could a novel bedepressing.Hardy skewers the cruelty and hypocrisy of the way society works He shows how, even in moments when men attempt to do something about the injustice of it all, they end up merely papering over the problem so that they don t have to see what s amiss.I have to say it s very well written, and clearly see why Hardy is regarded so highly, you take all three central characters to heart, it s impossible not to, and his portrayal of the villages and countryside evokes such feelings within, however, I am unconvinced that Hardy s critiques of Christianity and marriage are altogether just and reasonable, but do recognize the truth for love in the hearts of Sue and Jude, through their anguish and hopelessness, their anxiety and grief.Of the other earthy characters in it, dare I say they actually made me laugh at times, but generally any cheerfulness is on a very small level to say the least.As for Hardy s career as a novelist, it s a shame that he ended it so soon, he here proves himself to be one of the great creators of complex characters with emotionally devastating problems, grabbing the readers attention in a very short period of time, I didn t think it was the masterpiece some might see it as, but did leave a very strong impression on me.I even felt sorry for the Pig


  8. says:

    God had created woman for the sole purpose of tempting and testing man One must not approach her without defensive precautions and fear of possible snares She was, indeed, just like a snare, with her lips open and her arms stretched out to manGuy de Maupassant, Clair de Lune.I wonder who the real tragic protagonist in Hardy s tale of doomed love and transcendental disillusion is What seems evident according to the incriminating behavior of the female characters in the story is that womeGod had created woman for the sole purpose of tempting and testing man One must not approach her without defensive precautions and fear of possible snares She was, indeed, just like a snare, with her lips open and her arms stretched out to manGuy de Maupassant, Clair de Lune.I wonder who the real tragic protagonist in Hardy s tale of doomed love and transcendental disillusion is What seems evident according to the incriminating behavior of the female characters in the story is that women are not to be trusted for their either manipulative or gullible nature Many might easily consider Sue Bridehead, Jude s alma mater, the major villain of this wretched story A perverse seductress full of inessential stratagems and provocative pouts, whose tribulations ruin the lives of two good hearted men, tantalizing them with sharp mind and incorporeal beauty.One can throw stones at this treacherous creature based on false social embodiments of love and despise her impetuous rebellion or choose to dig deeper and endure acute spiritual turmoil in an inner battle of wills between abstract ideology and constrained reality.One can focus on Sue s ellusive actions and self centered individualism or see her as a token of the transition between the new and the old mental frame of the semi liberated female in Victorian society, whose entanglement in centuries of sexual enslavement and intellectual repression brings her to continuous inner conflict.One can choose to condemn those who attempt to struggle against centuries of subjection or be forgiving for the inconsistencies that define humankind and its perplexing contradictions Because when human nature is tamed by oppressive convention or shackled by fundamentalist morality, abrupt and almost unpardonable reactions can unchain from the most emancipated and spiritually untainted individualsThere is something external to us which says, You shan t First it said, You shan t learn , Then it said, You shan t labour , Now it says, You shan t love 357 In the end, Sue s gravest betrayal is to turn against her own convictions when her willpower fails under the pressure of social stigma and the corrosive guilt that comes from horrific calamity.Call me biased but I choose not to condemn Sue Bridehead I choose to embrace her obscure mystery and all the ambiguity of her complex psyche instead.If Sue evokes the torn nature of humanity trapped between turbulently opposed tides, Jude s genteel and innocent morality arises as the soothing balm for the restless soul in the still pool of rationality.Jude s rootless origins are as inert as Marygreen, the place where he grows up as part of the emerging tradesmen class His uncommon sensitiveness and his sense of ideal justice nurture this dreamy laborer s aspirations to attend College in Christminster, the alluring cultural town next to Marygreen, to become a learned scholar and a man of wisdom But the the law of nature can t be fooled indefinitely and lofty ideals need to be confronted with animal instinct when the allure of the flesh surpasses the call of the mind Arabella, the merciless huntress and the archetype of Victorian female in search of economic security through marriage, lures Jude into a permanent contract basedon a temporary feeling which has no necessary connection with affinitiesand a marital life of shared misery leads the couple to walk their separate ways.Free from his conjugal ties, Jude starts treading the path of his dreams and moves to Christminster, where he finds work as a stonemason refurbishing the phantasmagorical walls of the same elitist Colleges that turn him down because of his humble origins When the stagnant medievalism of Christminster s cultural hollowness becomes evident, Jude finds in ethereal Sue the perfect substitute for his idealistic aspirations, clinging blindly to a body and mind consuming passion that can t be fully reciprocated by a woman who identifies physical sexuality with submission to social conventionWe ought to have lived in mental communion, and no372 Who commits the greater sin The sightless or the guileless The one who clings to ghostly reflection of the idealized mirage or the one who fumbles with faltering candlelight amidst the engulfing darkness of moral hypocrisy The devotedly religious or the unredeemed pagan The ethical collectivist or the self destructive individualist The law of men might seem crueler than thelaw of nature but Hardy s equally haunting and lyrical prose oozing with symbolic realism shows otherwise Nature is as astonishing a miracle as it is an inescapable curse Two pure doves are liberated only to be hunted down again to have their hearts ripped out to produce a fake love potion by a perfidious quack, a rabbit caught in a gin bellows in agony bleeding to a slow and agonizing death, a compassionate man dies alone with a feeble blessing on his cracked lips, a heedless woman punishes herself masochistically with a long lasting self debasement and spiritual corruption Only the pig is spared an excruciating suffering with a fast kill in the hands of clement Jude, whose fate won t grant him the same luxury Nature is the bleak mirror of doomed existence and certain obliteration A mirror that Hardy turns around to us proving we are all characters of his dire novel and that the world is a too much obscure place for those visionaries whose ephemeral light glows ahead of their time, regardless of hollow social constraints and racking tragedy The rawness of nature will eventually find all the characters in this novel called life and their only choice will be whether to face her with bitter damnation or with a forgiving blessing on their lips I choose not to condemn I choose to embrace I choose to absolve I choose to be merciful What will your choice beBut no one came Because no one ever does 45


  9. says:

    A few days ago I finished Thomas Hardy s last novel, Jude the Obscure I was completely overwhelmed and truly needed a few days to reflect upon the experience and collect my thoughts before attempting a review Bear in mind too, that this is the first time that I have read Jude, and I sincerely believe that this novel may require a lifetime of reading and study in order to fully tease out and understand the import of Hardy s message.First, a little background about the novel This novel took Har A few days ago I finished Thomas Hardy s last novel, Jude the Obscure I was completely overwhelmed and truly needed a few days to reflect upon the experience and collect my thoughts before attempting a review Bear in mind too, that this is the first time that I have read Jude, and I sincerely believe that this novel may require a lifetime of reading and study in order to fully tease out and understand the import of Hardy s message.First, a little background about the novel This novel took Hardy sometime to write He started with an outline in 1890, and did not complete the book until 1894 It was first published serially in Harper s New Monthly Magazine from December 1894 to November 1895, and then it was published in book form Hardy took a lot of heat for the novel from reviewers and critics, other authors, as well as the general public It developed a reputation as Jude the Obscene The relentlessness and vitriol of the negative criticism caused Hardy to forsake ever writing another novel of fiction and he spent the remaining thirty some odd years of his life concentrating on his poetry.I also want to include, at this point, a strong Spoiler Warning In crafting this review, and discussing Hardy s authorial intent, I am finding it quite impossible not to discuss some relatively important plot points and elements Therefore, continue reading at your own peril All I can observe is that regardless of what I can say, or what you may have heard about this novel, it is a monumentally huge novel that simply must be read by any and all students of great literature Okay, consider yourself forewarned.In some respects, Jude the Obscure can be looked upon as the coming of age story of Jude Fawley Others have postulated that it is also an anti bildungsroman as it documents, as we shall see, the slow and torturous destruction of Jude and his ideals Interestingly, this is the only Hardy novel, that I am aware of, that starts with the protagonist as a child and follows him through his life.In Jude the Obscure, Hardy addresses the prevailing Victorian attitudes associated with social class and standing, educational opportunities, religion, the institution of marriage, and the influence of Darwinism on modern thought Throughout the novel, Jude, Sue Bridehead, and Arabella Donn are used by Hardy to explore and develop the all encompassing portrait and to some degree, indictment of the society and time that Jude and Hardy reside in It seems that the novel sets up an examination of the contrasts between the idealistic romanticism of the second generation poets, John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley Hardy truly admired Shelley , and themodern cultural movement of social Darwinism.First and foremost, this is a novel of ideas and ideals Jude is a sensitive young fellow, always concerned with the lot of the animals and people around him As a child he is even dismayed at seeing trees cut down, and can t bring himself to scare away the rooks crows that are eating the seed from a newly planted field that he s been paid to protect Later, as an adult he is compelled to leave his bed late at night and find the rabbit, screaming with pain, that has been caught in a trap and dispatch it as an act of mercy These are some of the first signs of Jude the romantic, and Jude the dreamer The ideals he has formed are something really quite different from that of the world around him, and this can t bode well for him.The first third of the novel focuses on Jude s desire to become an educated man and become admitted to the great colleges of Christminster loosely modeled on Oxford in Hardy s Wessex countryside Jude, like Hardy, is an autodidact and teaches himself Greek and Latin, and views Christminster as the city of lights and where the tree of knowledge grows Jude s romantic visions and ideals suffer a terrible blow when he is denied admittance to the colleges and is advised that remaining in your own sphere and sticking to your trade is his best course of action Idealism aside, Jude now begins to understand that his social class and standing will continue to strongly influence his future.Issues associated with Love and Marriage also dominate much of the novel s landscape, and can be quite painful to read and consider Early on, Jude is essentially trapped into a truly disastrous marriage with the attractive, but coarse young woman, Arabella Donn, the daughter of a pig farmer Trust me, she can slaughter the animals that Jude cannot Arabella s unique method of introducing herself to Jude is to throw a bloody pig s penis at him as he walks by while she is cleaning and sorting the offal of a slaughtered hog Simply put, Arabella is the Delilah to Jude s Samson Jude s young cousin, Sue Bridehead, on the other hand, is at times, one of the most erudite and intellectual women of the fiction of the late Victorian Ethereal and fairy like, Sue is an idealist too, but her idealism tends towards amodern view even though some its roots reflect that of the second generation Romantics too For example, Sue quotes to Jude, several lines from Shelley s great poem, Epipsychidion Three Sermons on Free Love At first blush, it seems easy to assume that Sue endorses the Shelleyan view of Free Love and not binding oneself contractually and exclusively to only one other While Shelley meant this from the perspective of sexual gratification, Sue has developed her own brand of romantic idealism that leads her to believe that it is only the iron clad contract marriage that dooms the relationship.I had to spend some time thinking about Sue and her beliefs, but I have come to the preliminary conclusion that neither she, nor Hardy, are anti marriage, but that it is the nature of the contract of marriage in the Victorian age i.e., with all of its trappings of submission, subjugation, and so forth that doom its likelihood of long term success in her view In fact, in support of this notion, Hardy made a notebook entry in 1889, in which he writes, Love lives on propinquity, but dies of contact It seems that Hardy s development of the character of Sue Bridehead and the novel s storyline may reflect a portion of his own troubled relationship with his wife Emma and her increasing religious beliefs through the years of their own marriage Also, it may well be that Sue s character reflects a bit of Hardy s cousin, Tryphena Sparks, a woman that he is rud to have had an affair with in 1868, and who later died in 1890 Hardy, in the Preface to the 1895 edition of Jude, stated that the novel was partly inspired by the death of a woman in 1890.Even though Sue Bridehead bears children with Jude, sexual relations and intimacy remains a very difficult proposition for her For example, when married to her first husband, Richard Phillotson, she is startled awake by him entering her bedroom absentmindedly they slept in separate rooms , and she leaps from a second story window into the night rather than sleep with him Again, much of the time she is with Jude, they also sleep in separate bedrooms, which has the effect of keeping Jude s passions for her quite hot This is not, however, the romantic ideal of the loving wife and life mate that Jude has envisioned for his dear Sue though It is also not the picture of romantic idealism for Sue either, as she is truly looking for a partner through which she can fully experience Love s spiritual and intellectual bonds, and not just the contractual or the sexual.Toward the end of the novel there occurs such a shocking event that finally and irrevocably alters the lives of Jude and Sue, and largely severs their tenuous emotional and spiritual bonds to one another The romantic ideals of both are smashed hopelessly and simply cannot be reassembled Modernization has come and displaced the old world romanticism of Jude Fawley and Thomas Hardy Jude the Dreamer and Jude the Idealist have no place in this new order, because to transcend to his ideals means that he must die as Keats and Shelley so eloquently discovered Unfortunately for Jude, even Arabella is present to witness his final suffering and agony Jude s story has become, in a very real sense Hardy s modern retelling of the Book of Job Note the word play too the J from Jude and the Ob from Obscure As I said above, I have a sense that I have probably only just scratched the surface of this titanic novel, and that there is much, muchto glean It is full of allusion and metaphor, and rife with biblical references and nods to Hardy s literary ancestors, Milton, Wordsworth, and Shelley Before I tackle Jude again, or re read any of his other novels for that matter, I want to first read Claire Tomalin s recent biography, Thomas Hardy 2006 Rosemarie Morgan s Women and Sexuality in the Novels of Thomas Hardy 1988 and also delve into Thomas Hardy The Complete Poems 1981 , edited by James Gibson.Read this novel When you are through, let me know for I d love to discuss it with you and see what you think too Five out of five stars for me


  10. says:

    Read this if you re looking for that final push towards suicide.


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