Jude The Obscure: Part 1, Chapter 8 - Summary & Analysis

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Part 1: Chapter VIII

      Synopsis: The pig-hunt and Arabella's failure to seduce Jude in her first attempt - lures him into her bed-room next time - triumphant in her second attempt.

      Arabella's first, attempt to seduce and Jude's simplicity. On a particular Saturday evening Jude was going along to his aunt's house. While passing by Arabella's home he had a strong desire to have a glimpse of her without any appointment. When he was at the gate he found her running after three pigs that had escaped from their sty. Arabella was very happy to find her lover unexpectedly and requested him to help her to catch them. The pigs were purchased the day before and they wanted to go back to their old home. With their joint efforts they were able to capture two of them easily. They were running close to each other and Jude took every opportunity to catch her for a moment to kiss her. But the third pig escaped. Both of them rushed after it outside the garden. Running after it they ascended the top of the high ground and then had to give up the chase. They were rushing hand-in-hand and were quite tired. Suddenly without releasing his hand Arabella flung herself down on the ground pulling Jude also on to his knees. She lay supine and straight as an arrow on the sloping sod of this hill-top in that silent and lonely place with Jude reclining by her side. But simple Jude failed to catch the hint. To tempt him further she drew him closer to show him a lovely green caterpillar on a tree. This trick also did not work and Arabella gave up her attempt telling him crossly: "How stupid you are!"

      Arabella succeeds in her second attempt. Next day, that is Sunday, in the morning Arabella requested her parents to go to the church in the afternoon. She wanted to have Jude alone in her house, Jude came in the evening and had their usual stroll along the slopes and round - about the ridge. Back at her home she invited Jude to come in. She told him that her parents had gone to the church and this encouraged Jude. They sat close to each other. But suddenly Arabella told him not to touch her as she was hatching a cochin's egg in her bosom. She drew it out and showed it to him. When Jude resented this she asked him why he did not snatch it from her. This time he took the hint and after a short struggle captured the booty. When Jude wanted to kiss her and depart, she just rushed upstairs asking him to find her out first in the growing darkness. And when he found her she could manage things in her own way. Arabella's stratagem paid her rich dividends in the very second attempt.

Critical Analysis
      A voluptuous and tenacious Arabella. This is Arabella's chapter. Her unbridled passion and voluptuousness is revealed to us in a dazzling manner. Here we find an unscrupulous and sensuous girl seducing a shy, simple and upright boy. This passionate girl does not shrink from adopting any trick or stratagem to capture her lover completely. She lures him into seducing her at the second attempt.

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