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Jude the Obscure

Jude the Obscure


by Thomas Hardy

Arabella Donn Timeline and Summary

  • As Pig Grease Thrower Extraordinaire, Arabella Donn slings some Jude's way as he walks by. Apparently, in Wessex, this counts as champion flirting.
  • Jude and Arabella talk and flirt and make plans to see each other. Sadly, no warning pops up in Jude's mind that this woman is Trouble-With-a-Capital-T.
  • Arabella and Jude engage in general nineteenth-century courting activities (walking, drinking at an inn, fun stuff like that).
  • Arabella's first big move in her plan to trap Jude into marriage comes when she arranges for her house to be empty before inviting Jude back to her place They play some strange version of hide and seek with an egg or something (we do not judge, we merely report), and Arabella leads him upstairs. And then the scene fades to black, but we think you guys can guess what happens: Bomp Chicka Bow Wow.
  • Jude tries to break up with Arabella. He tells Arabella that he thinks it's time for him to move on to Christminster. The relationship seems to be falling apart, and he wants to continue with his goals to become a great scholar
  • Tricky and manipulative as always, Arabella tells Jude she's pregnant. Jude decides he has to do the honorable thing and marry Arabella. So that happens.
  • But then, in one of the cruelest "hey, I was totally wrong" moments in the novel, Arabella basically tells Jude, oops, did I say pregnant? Nope, I'm actually not. But hey, we're married anyway!
  • The marriage crumbles (of course), Arabella leaves Jude, sells their things, and moves to Australia with her family.
  • Years later, Arabella sees Jude at a bar in Christminster. She tells him that she married another man in Australia.
  • Time for another bomb to drop! Arabella informs Jude, by letter, that she and Jude have a son together that he never knew about. She will be sending the boy to stay with Jude. Enter creepy Little Father Time.
  • Sharing a love of stalking with her former husband, Arabella stalks Jude, Sue, and LFT at the Wessex agriculture show. She decides she wants Jude back.
  • After LFT kills the babies and himself, Arabella hatches her latest evil plot (insert sinister laughter here).
  • First, she works her magic on Phillotson, manipulating him into deciding to take Sue back.
  • Then, Arabella sets her sights on Jude. She gets him drunk for days and basically tricks him into marrying her again.
  • As Jude falls ill, she argues with him constantly. The two of them have graduated to open, complete hatred. Arabella uses Jude's sickness as an opportunity to start making moves on the old quack Doctor in town.
  • Arabella finds Jude dead in his bed, but she leaves the body alone so that she can go to a boat show.
  • Two days later, Arabella attends Jude's funeral—but Sue doesn't.