Jude the Obscure Essay

Jude the Obscure Essay

Length: 756 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Jude the Obscure


There are many prominent themes that run throughout the film Jude - the themes of love and marriage and what's socially accepted are two of the most prevalent. As these themes, among others, are portrayed throughout the film, it is blatantly clear that the society in which Jude, and his cousin / "wife" Sue, are confined within, has their own set beliefs regarding what is right and what is wrong. These "social bindings" are inflicted upon Jude and Sue both individually and as "husband and wife" throughout the film.
One of the very first scenes in the film shows Jude and Phillotson, his schoolmaster, walking together. Apparently, Phillotson is leaving the small town of Marygreen and is headed for Christminster to attend the university for young men. Jude is told when he is barely twelve years old that "if he wants to do anything in life, he must go to Christminster - even if it means giving up everything else for awhile." Once he is at Christminster, everything will be open to him; "he can become anything he wants, choose his future." Jude now sees Christminster as an "enlightened place of learning". He associates it with his many dreams of higher education and his vague notions of academic success. Immediately, we see the confines of society. From such a young age, Jude is told that in order for his life to have some kind of purpose and meaning, he must attend the University at Christminster. From that moment on, his entire life is centered around his studies and his aspiration to leave Marygreen and go to Christminster. To society, this university is equated with excellence and social prominence - Jude is also led to believe that his admission to the university will bring him complete and ...


... middle of paper ...


...tion of marriage - what is believed at the time to be "proper" - she must return to the man she first married in the eyes of God. On another level, she might feel that she needs to punish herself for the suffering her children endured by forcing herself into a life of unhappiness.
This film stressed how the two main characters were bound by societal standards. Sue believes that the only way she can live a "true life" is to accept that by living with Jude she would be defying God. Her only recourse was to return to her ex-husband. In a society unwilling to accept their "rejection of convention", they are ostracized. The children are also victims of society's unwillingness to accept Jude and Sue as husband and wife. This rejection by society, coupled with Sue's own feelings of shame over her divorce, help to destroy not only lives, but any hope for happiness.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Passion Versus Moral Duty Illustrated in Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure

- Conflict between a character’s intense passions and their moral duties is commonly expressed in literature. Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure undoubtedly uses this theme throughout the novel. Hardy creates two characters who are undeniably in love, however, they are forced to hide their great passions for one another for they both are married to someone else. These intimate feelings drive to two lovers, Jude and Sue, to neglect their commitments to their spouses and aspirations as they attempt to establish a life together....   [tags: Jude the Obscure]

Better Essays
636 words (1.8 pages)

Jude the Obscure and Social Darwinism Essay

- Jude the Obscure and Social Darwinism         Jude the Obscure is indeed a lesson in cruelty and despair; the inevitable by-products of Social Darwinism. The main characters of the book are controlled by fate's "compelling arm of extraordinary muscular power"(1), weakly resisting the influence of their own sexuality, and of society and nature around them.   Jude's world is one in which only the fittest survive, and he is clearly not equipped to number amongst the fittest. In keeping with the strong Darwinian undercurrents that run through the book, a kind of "natural selection" ensures that Jude's offspring do not survive to procreate either....   [tags: Jude Obscure]

Better Essays
922 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about References to Sue's Homosexuality in Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure

- References to Sue's Homosexuality in Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure Perhaps the most interesting character in Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure is Susanna Florence Mary Bridehead (Sue). Throughout the novel, she is described as everything from boyish and sexless, all the way to Voltairean and just simply unconventional. Some claim she had read prolifically many writers noted for their frankness and/or indecency (Hardy 118). Upon a surface reading, one can't help but wonder about the sexual identity and desires of Sue....   [tags: Jude Obscure Essays]

Better Essays
979 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Hardy's Jude the Obscure

- Hardy's Jude the Obscure      In Hardy's Jude the Obscure, Hardy shows his views on religion and commitment to the Church which were said to have declined in the latter years of his life. (Ingham, xxvii) Throughout the book Hardy displays his feeling that religion is something that people use in order to satisfy themselves by giving their lives meaning. One instance in which Hardy clearly displays this is when he writes, "It had been the yearning of his heart to find something to anchor on, to cling to." (Ingham, 94) In order to bring out this point Hardy chooses to create Jude as an orphan and has him come from obscure origins....   [tags: Religion Religion Jude Hardy Essays]

Free Essays
1955 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on The Critical Use of Suicide in Jude the Obscure

- Islamic suicide bombers are a part of one of the few cultures who view suicide as an honorable and logical decision, but the majority of people recognize suicide as a horrific tragedy. However, regardless of one’s beliefs about suicide, it is undeniable how prevalent suicide is worldwide. Many authors purposefully include suicide in their literary works because of how common it is, as well as because it powerfully conveys characters’ inner- struggles. In his novel Jude the Obscure, author Thomas Hardy has multiple characters commit suicide; the reader learns early on that Jude’s mother committed suicide, Jude and Arabella’s son Little Father Time kills himself after killing his 2 siblings,...   [tags: terrorism, suicide bombers, islam]

Better Essays
1644 words (4.7 pages)

Jude the Obscure Essay

- Jude the Obscure There are many prominent themes that run throughout the film Jude - the themes of love and marriage and what's socially accepted are two of the most prevalent. As these themes, among others, are portrayed throughout the film, it is blatantly clear that the society in which Jude, and his cousin / "wife" Sue, are confined within, has their own set beliefs regarding what is right and what is wrong. These "social bindings" are inflicted upon Jude and Sue both individually and as "husband and wife" throughout the film....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
756 words (2.2 pages)

Sue and Arabella in Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure Essay

- Sue and Arabella in Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure Thomas Hardy's diary contains an entry that explains how he will show the world something it needs to be shown in a story about a poor, struggling young man who has to deal with ultimate failure (Howe 132). This brief description of a story has turned into Hardy's phenomenal Jude the Obscure. Jude is emotionally torn between the two main women in the novel, Sue and Arabella, because each woman can only partially satisfy his urges. The stark difference in emotion, conversation, and sexual appetite make Sue and Arabella polar opposites in Hardy's Jude the Obscure....   [tags: Thomas Hardy Jude Oscure Essays]

Better Essays
1419 words (4.1 pages)

Middlemarch by George Eliot and Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy Essay

- Middlemarch by George Eliot and Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy The Victorian era brought about many changes throughout Great Britain. Man was searching for new avenues of enlightenment. The quest for knowledge and understanding became an acceptable practice throughout much of the scientific community. It was becoming accepted, and in many ways expected, for people to search for knowledge. Philosophy, the search for truth, was becoming a more intricate part of educating ones self; no longer were people holding on to old-fashioned ideas....   [tags: Middlemarch eliot Jude Hardy Essays]

Better Essays
1445 words (4.1 pages)

Jude the Obscure: The Relationship Between Point of View and Setting Essay

- ... For Jude, the atmosphere that Mrs Fawley creates is very intimidating. This is exemplified when the boy feels his aunt’s companions’ ‘glances like slaps upon his face’ (8). The reader may infer that Jude is sensitive and different, and this humiliation creates an oppressive situation for the boy. Later, Mrs Fawley refuses to acknowledge the comment made by one of her companions, the local washerwomen, who for instance says that Jude could ‘kip’ee company in your loneliness, fetch water ... help in the bit o’baking and (8)....   [tags: Thomas Hardy, novel analysis]

Better Essays
1444 words (4.1 pages)

Far From the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure

- Compromising Female Characters in Far From the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure   The novels of Thomas Hardy are intricate and complicated works whose plots seem to be completely planned before the first word is ever actually formed on paper. Though I have no proof of Hardy’s method of writing, it is clear that he focuses more on plot development than characterization in the novels Far From the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. The advantages of this can be easily seen in the clever twists and turns that occur in the novel which hold the reader’s interest....   [tags: Madding Tess Obscure]

Better Essays
2174 words (6.2 pages)