Jude the Obscure

Such a fascinating title, I know! No fear, this isn’t going to be a book report. For the past few days, we have been discussing Jude the Obscure in my Literature of Oxford class. The novel was written by Thomas Hardy and is predominantly set in Oxford, England. One of the major themes we’ve discussed in class is love versus marriage.

I promise you, this is not a rant on love. I just wanted to share some of the interesting ideas we discussed in class today.

In the novel, Jude and Sue mimic each other. There are many times where the two are one. Sue’s husband even points this out! When we discussed this in class, Dr. Trainor discussed the Greek “mythology” of soulmates. Now, I put “mythology” in quotations because I shamelessly hold onto the idea of finding a soulmate. Moving on, though, there is a story in Greek mythology that the first humans were created with four arms, four legs, four eyes, two heads, and so on. According to this myth, these super humans so-to-say intimidated Zeus and threatened his power. To prevent this from happening, Zeus split the human in two, separating him or her from his or her other half, leaving them to search for their person throughout their lives.

How does this relate to Jude the Obscure? Jude and Sue are so similar, that this tale applies to them. They are basically one. When they found each other, they became an unstoppable force. And, for Dr. Leeman, the tie-in for YOU is the pub where Thomas Hardy met with the Inklings, the Eagle and Child, also served as a pub for the royal army as well.

I will leave this post with an amazing quote Dr. Trainor gave us by Charles Williams: “Love you? I am you.”


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