Jude the Obscure
by Thomas Hardy
Jude the Obscure Marriage Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)
'I've got him to care for me: Yes! But I want him to more than care for me! I want him to have me—to marry me!' (1.7.60)
Arabella is a borderline soap opera villain. All she needs is dramatic music and some serious eyeliner and she'd be perfect. Everything is a scheme with her. She can't let things take their natural course. If she wants to marry Jude, well she's just going to go make it happen—no matter what lies she has to tell to achieve her goal.
Yet such being the custom of the rural districts among honourable young men who had drifted so far into intimacy with a woman […] he was ready to abide by what he had said and take the consequences. (1.9.13)
Jude might be honorable to a fault. His honor is called upon both times he marries Arabella: first, because she says she's pregnant (even though she's not), and second, because she tells Jude that he asked her to marry him and he doesn't want to go back on a promise (even though he was stinking drunk at the time, and he has no memory of any kind of marriage discussion). He's like a knight of old when it comes to honor. Except instead of slaying dragons, Jude gets stuck with a pretty horrible woman. Jude's fate says something about Hardy's opinion of knight-like honor in today's world: it'll get you into trouble.
There seemed to him, vaguely and dimly, something wrong in a social ritual which made necessary the cancelling of well-formed schemes involving years of thought and labour. (1.9.68)
Here they are: Jude's early, critical thoughts on marriage (and perhaps Hardy's, too). How can something be a positive influence on your life if it forces you to give up the dreams you have had for years?