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Analysis of Jude the Obscure
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Jude the Obscure was panned by critics upon its release towards the end of the nineteenth century. The criticism had such an effect on Hardy that he wasn't to write another novel before his death. His attack of Britain's dearest institutions (marriage, the class system and higher education) had people so up in arms that the Bishop of Wakefield even burned his copy and persuaded Smith's Circulating Library to withdraw it.
The story is a simple tale of a simple orphan boy in a rural district who entertains the diea of becoming a scholar in Christminster. He is tricked into marriage by a local girl, Arabella Donn, thwarting his studies, and the marriage fails. Jude plies his trade as a stonemason in Christminster, hoping that somehow he'll be accepted there by being near to it.
His experience of University however is notably one of exclusion from it: ironically he gets no closer than fixing the masonry of the university he longs so much to be a part of. After a few alcoholic binges to relieve his frustration, Jude eventually accepts his place in the world. He then falls in love with his cousin, Sue
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