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Jude the Obscure

Jude the Obscure


by Thomas Hardy

Jude the Obscure Theme of Love

All you need is love…and for society to stay off your back…and for your ex-wife not to drop a super morose kid in your lap. Okay, so Jude and Sue can't survive on love alone, but their love story still stands as the most dominant plot line in the novel. At times, you wish they could just calm down and realize that they love each other and just run away from England to a place where no one knows who they are or cares about their past. Sadly, their love story is more complicated than all that. While it doesn't work out in the end, it's quite an adventure rooting for these two crazy kids to make it work.

Questions About Love

  1. Do Jude and Sue share the same views on love?
  2. At what point do you think Sue starts loving Jude?
  3. If she doesn't love him, why does Sue marry Phillotson?
  4. How does Jude's relationship with Sue differ from his early relationship with Arabella?

Chew on This

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

Jude, Arabella, Sue, and Phillotson are all so different in their attitudes towards love that Hardy does not seem to portray any consistent gender difference between men and women in their views on romance.

Throughout the novel, Jude makes remarks about wishing that he had never been born; however, his enduring love for Sue makes all of Jude's suffering worth it in the end.

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