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Practical Critical Essay on 'Jude' Part 6 Ch.2.

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Practical Critical Essay on 'Jude' Part 6 Ch.2 16/01/04 p.336 "done because..." - p.337 "he had died" Little Father Time has just hanged himself and the other two children. Jude and Sue have just come across this scene of horror. Hardy cuts "upon the floor, on which was written, in the boy's hand, with the bit..." into short segments with commas giving the narration a breathless effect. It demonstrates Jude and Sue's feelings towards the scene they have just witnessed. These commas also fashion the sentence as if it were being spoken by a child. There is no complex diction in this passage so it reflects the innocence of the children involved, which is quite a contrast from the adult and gothic language such as "half paralyzed" and "grotesque and hideous horror" used in the last paragraph. There is a pattern that emerges so whenever the narrator describes the scene (usually the most horrific parts), he uses simple, unadorned, monosyllabic words, i.e. "the little bed", and - placing the negative first - "no children were there". However, when describing the parents' reaction, he uses more complicated and descriptive lexis. ...read more.


She seems to be undergoing an out-of-body experience. She is not to go upstairs because "her presence might do harm"; the intensive shock may also lead to endangering "a coming life", her unborn baby would be the only child left in her life. Sue confesses she believes herself responsible for this and Jude replies "It was in his nature to do it...unknown in the last generation": This is an allusion to a number of views and theories. Thomas Malthus published "An essay on the principle of population" in 1798. In it he argued against population growth. He believed that if one cannot afford to raise children, one should not bring them into the world. Jude quotes the doctor who says that such boys were not heard of in the last generation. Here, Darwin's 'The Origin of Species' (1859) is being alluded to. Darwin proved humans are not special creatures chosen by God, but instead, simply animals that are highly evolved and well adapted to their surroundings. Hardy stresses the way that Little Father Time had struck at the conventional views of Victorian family life and instead of having the typical morals of a little boy, believed that survival was more important than family values. ...read more.


The use of simple, unadorned language describing the boy as a 'little shape' shows us that the small boy is not yet defined, he is not yet delineated; he dies young and unformed. Hardy writes that in Little Father Time he "had converged all the inauspiciousness of Jude". The child's corpse conveyed the suggestion of the tragedy, despair and death that was looming in his relationship with Arabella, as well "all the accidents...errors of the last"; the potent and tragic element of fate is stressed. Little Jude's description as his parent's 'nodal point' demonstrates that he is an entanglement where 'inauspiciousness' and the lack of love have become enmeshed. The paragraph concludes with a tricolon, "For the rashness of those parents he had groaned, for their ill-assortment he has quaked, and for the misfortunes of these he had died". This relates to Jude's relationships with Arabella and Sue, and Little Father Time's short life; it is a conclusive and tragic summation of Little Father Time's short life and tragic end. This scene hints at Hardy's disaffection with God, and when Jude and Sue overhear the psalm "Truly God is loving unto Israel" we realize this disaffection is very tangible. Word Count: 1,190 ...read more.

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