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Jude the Obscure

Jude the Obscure


by Thomas Hardy

Jude the Obscure Theme of Isolation

Look, we all feel a little lonely sometimes, right? If people didn't feel lonely, the world would be left without some of the greatest books, movies, and plays ever written. However, there are times when loneliness gets away from people, and they start to feel like they're the only person on the planet. Jude suffers from this affliction at times in the novel, and so does Sue. It's even fair to say that Phillotson feels a bit isolated from time to time. Dealing with the sense of isolation actually drives a good amount of the action in the book.

Questions About Isolation

  1. What leads to Jude's attempted suicide on the frozen pond?
  2. If Jude had been able to lodge with the family upon their return to Christminster, do you think Little Father Time would have still murdered the babies?
  3. Why do you think Sue runs to Jude whenever she feels lost in the world?
  4. Who is there when Jude dies? What is the significance of this?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Time to play pop psychologist: Jude's lack of strong family ties contributes to his overall sense of social isolation in the novel.

While Jude and Sue suffer horribly for their romantic attachment, the novel still presents their relationship as a worthwhile risk.

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