Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure

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The disposition and temperament of a character is revealed to a reader by the author throughout any work of literature, but a vast portion of the characterization occurs in specific instances at certain key points in the plot of a novel or play. This excerpt about Jude and Sue, from Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, exposes significant insights into their true intentions and emotions of themselves, others, and life in general. This author engenders a unique persona for each of the inhabitants of these two houses by utilizing a forlorn tone and gruesome diction, alongside symbolism that emulates the current situations in which the two characters find themselves ensnared.

In the beginning, the author introduces the characters simultaneously, each with an equally "lonely and disheartened" mood enveloping them(lines 2, 3). The individual circumstances are overlooked in order to capture both of their forsaken feelings together, which leads the reader to envision a connection between the two; this foreshadows a possible surreptitious relationship, especially when he "question[s] his devotional model"(l.3). When he questions himself, he shows the signs of a low confidence level, which could reveal a low self-esteem and possibly an introverted, quiet personality; the semicolon that precedes this passage reveals even more about Jude, because it connects the "lonely and disheartened" tone around this part of the passage with his opinions about himself, leading to the conclusion that he does not trust his own judgment and has possibly made similar errors in the past(ll.2, 3). Jude watches the house as it "disappear[s] behind the night shade," mirroring his waning chances of encountering Sue, which further establishes his hidde...

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...ned by an event that does not interrupt the plot but is just as effective at uncovering the actual meaning and connections in the plot itself.

In the story about Jude and Sue, Thomas Hardy was able to interconnect the story of a rabbit and a couple in such a way that the significance of the scene was not detracted from, and he was still able to convey his point. He used diction that denotes confinement and a tone that captures the separation that Jude and Sue feel in order to reflect his actual thoughts on marriage, and he symbolized a very important interaction by way of a seemingly insignificant act in order to show a hidden but powerful connection. Through all this, Hardy fully exposes the nature and predicament of both Sue and Jude so that the reader is able to understand, and anyone can relate to the universal, core feelings expressed in this excerpt.
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