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Jude the Obscure
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1001 book reviews > Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

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message 1: by Diane (last edited May 06, 2018 09:16AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane  | 2051 comments Rating: 4.5 stars

When we begin the book, Jude is a man full of dreams and promise. He plans on becoming educated and successful. Wanting to be honorable, he is tricked into marrying Arabella before he was ready to marry, and both soon realize they don't love each other. Due to the expectations of the time, this marriage has basically crushed his career aspirations and chances of happiness. He later falls in love with his cousin and attempts to pick up the pieces, but fate (and society) thwarts him at every turn.

This is definitely a tragedy in the true sense of the word and far from cheerful. It reminds me a lot of Tess of the D'Urbervilles with a male protagonist. Hardy was certainly ahead of time in recognizing and writing about the restrictiveness of Victorian society, laws, and religion. Naturally, this book was not well-received during its initial publication due to its "indecent" nature.

Overall, a depressing but extremely well-written and thought-provoking book.

Kristel (kristelh) | 4259 comments Mod
I read this in 2009 and it was my first Hardy. I really liked it. I guess it was his last novel. The main character, Jude, wants to be a scholar. The other character is Sue, his cousin and his love. The novel is concerned with issues of class, education, religion, morality and marriage.

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