Jude The Obscure: Part 1, Chapter 10 - Summary & Analysis

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Part 1: Chapter X

      Synopsis: Jude compelled to slaughter the pig - a matter-of-fact Arabella and a kind - hearted Jude - Jude overhears Arabella's friends - comes to know about the truth behind their marriage - a wordy dual between them.

      Jude slaughters a pig against his will. Jude and his wife had-kept a pig and flattened it with a view to augment their income by selling meat. The time arrived for killing and they decided to slaughter it one morning. A professional pig-killer, Challow, was to come early in the morning for the purpose. But it snowed heavily during the night. Jude was up long before dawn and doubled if Challow would be able to come in such a weather. Any way they waited for him for some time in the morning and then Arabella decided that it would have to be killed that very morning as there was no food left for it. She asked Jude to do the job and she would help him as she knew the job well. When he expressed his sorrow at killing an animal which he had fed with his own hands, she called him "a tender heated fool". But Jude disregarded her advice to kill it slowly to keep the price of meat high and slaughtered it almost at one stroke of his knife. To Jude it was hateful business, but to the matter-of-fact Arabella it was necessary, as poor people must live. Just after the killing Challow appeared on the scene and the rest of the business was left to him.

      Jude overhears Arabella's friends, learns the truth. One day, on his way back home from Alfredston Jude overhead the conversation between Arabella's two girl friends. One was boasting that it was only by following her advice Arabella could marry Jude. The bitter truth stunned him so much that he by-passed his cottage and went to his aunt's place to have his supper. And them Arabella stupidly charged him by saying that he was earning very little to maintain a family. A wordy duel ensued and Jude ultimately could not but divulge what he had overhead from her friends regarding their advice to her. This exasperated her. But Jude managed to have a truce at least for the night.

Critical Analysis
      Tender-hearted Jude and crafty Arabella exposed completely. This chapter also reveals Arabella's character further. She is a cruel, matter-off-fact type of woman and Jude is a kind and soft type of fellow. That is why Arabella calls him "a tender - hearted fool". There was very little common between them. We also find the gap widening between them and anticipate the storm which is to break upon them at any time.

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