Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy


Jude is an enigma to me. For all his radical ideals and lofty aspirations he is tragically under the influence of the two women in his life. He is twice tricked into marriage by one of them and willingly submits to the tempestuous cravings of the other because he views her as his soulmate and true wife, although they shun the institution of marriage. Jude and Sue are flower children. It is their undoing that they lived 70 years before their time. They manage to eke out a few years of happiness but reality keeps intruding in ways that are sometimes funny but-this being Hardy -usually heartbreaking. Jude is hard to understand but he is even harder to dislike. Like Tess, he seems to personify the belief that life isn't a gift at all. It is a challenge that is endurable for only a lucky few.