Characters Analysis of the Novel: Jude The Obscure

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      Jude Fawley, is a village stonemason who is thwarted in every attempt to find success and happiness. His chief desire from the time of his youth is to become a religious scholar, but because of his sensuous temperament he is forced into an early marriage. After his first wife leaves him, he falls in love with his cousin and lives with her illegally for several years. The weight of social disapproval forces them downhill. After the tragic death of their children his cousin leaves him also and Jude, having turned to drink, dies a miserable death.

      Arabella Bonn, is a country girl who tricks Jude into his first marriage. She has nothing in common with Jude and soon leaves him to go to Australia. She later returns but makes no immediate demands on him, preferring to marry another and advance her station in life. After the death of her second husband and the separation of Jude and his cousin, she tricks him into marrying her a second time. But instead of helping to brighten the last days of his life she increases his misery and is planning her next marriage even before his death.

      Sue Bridehead, is Jude's cousin. Although priding herself on being a free-thinker, she marries a much older man out of a sense of obligation and leaves him shortly afterward because of her revulsion toward him. She lives with Jude for several years and bears him three children. She is a strong influence on him and through her unorthodox thought becomes the primary reason for his giving up his attempts to enter the Church. After the tragic death of her children, she undergoes a complete change in personality; now wanting to conform, she returns to her first husband.

      Richard Phillotson, is a village schoolmaster who instills in Jude his first desires to learn. He falls in love with Sue after she becomes his assistant and marries her in spite of obvious differences in age, thought, and belief- When she expresses her desire to live with Jude, he allows her a divorce, although it causes his own downfall. He gladly remarries her when she wants to come back to him, even though he is fully aware that she does not love him.

      Little Father Time, is the son of Jude and Arabella. He is a precocious child who seems to feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. Having been sent to Jude by Arabella when she married the second time, he is bothered by a sense of being unwanted and feels that he is a source of anxiety for his elders. This feeling becomes so intensified that he hangs himself and the two younger children.

      Drusilla Fawley, is Jude's great-aunt, who raises him after the death of his parents. During his youth she constantly warns him against ever marrying because the Fawleys have never had successful marriages.

      Anny and Sarah, are friends of Arabella. They give her the idea of tricking Jude into marriage.

      Mr. Donn, is Arabella's father. Although he has nothing to do with the first trick on Jude, he helps Arabella carry out the second one.

      Gillingham, is a friend and confidant of Phillotson, whose advice Phillotson never takes.

      Mrs. Edlin, a neighbour of Drusilla Fawley, always ready to help Jude and Sue when they need her.

      Vilbert, a quack doctor, serves as Jude's first source of disillusionment about life.

      Cartlett, is Arabella's second husband.

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