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Free Study Guide-Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy-Book Notes Summary
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1. Analyze Hardy's arrangement of the plot.

2. Discuss Hardy's criticism of social institutions in Jude the Obscure.

3. "Sue's role in the novel is that of a counterpoint to Arabella." Discuss the influence these two markedly different women have on Jude.

4. Hardy describes Jude the Obscure as a "tragedy of unfulfilled aims." Discuss this statement.

5. "In Jude the Obscure it is not so much an adverse Destiny as the hero and heroine who themselves make choice after choice which leads to disaster." Discuss the novel in the light of this statement. 6. Discuss the character of Sue Bridehead. Is she a "modern woman" or a parody of the same?

7. Is Hardy's presentation of Little Father Time an artistic success?

8. What is the role of the minor characters in Jude the Obscure?

9. Analyze the different views on marriage expressed by different characters and comment on their validity.

10. What is particularly "modern" about this novel?

11. Analyze the deaths of the three children. What is the function of this tragedy in the overall structure of the book?


The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis. There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author's life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author.

In this set of PinkMonkey Literature Notes for a well-known piece of literature, we at have tried to give an objective literary analysis based upon the information actually found in the novel, book, or play. In the end, however, it is an individual interpretation, but one that we feel can be readily supported by the information that is presented in the guide. In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as ours. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor.

Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend. Hopefully, these PinkMonkey Literature Notes will help you to accomplish that goal.

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