Jude The Obscure: Part 2, Chapter 2 - Summary & Analysis

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Part 2: Chapter II

      Synopsis: In quest of a job - to the work-yard of a stonemasons - no vacancy - thinks of finding out Sue and Mr. Phillotson - rambling in and around the Colleges only a wall between him and the students inside - dreaming of getting inside - getting a job-work during day and study at night - Sue traced at last-deep and lasting influence after second meeting.

      To work and study; in quest of a job. Now the most crying need of the hour for Jude was to get a job. So he had "to smother high thinking under immediate needs". From Alfredston he got the name and address of a stonemason. He then started for his work-yard. On his way he passed by those college buildings visited by him the night before. But he was rather shacked to find - "what at night had been perfect and ideal was by day the more or less defective ideal". Soon he reached the work-yard. He was prepared to accept any employment which might be offered to him, but hs acceptance would be a provisional thing only. But unfortunately he could not get a job then as there was no vacancy.

      To meet Sue and Phillotson-haunting the premises of the colleges Without a job Jude still remained a lonely fellow. The first thing he remember was that he had to find Sue and Mr. Phillotson. He then wrote to his aunt to send him the portrait of Sue. She sent it, no doubt, but advised him not to bring disturbance in the family by meeting the girl too often. As regards his schoolmaster he felt that in his raw and unpolished condition he was not fit enough to meet the gentleman who was supposed to have become a reverend parson by that time.

      As he had enough spare time Jude then began to haunt the cloisters and quadrangles of the colleges at odd times. "The Christminster 'sentiment, as it had been called at further and further into him,......" While having his rambles there he felt that only a wall divided him from those who were fortunate enough to be inside. "Only a wall-but what a wall!" He was still optimistic to feel that a bright future lay ahead. "Those Palaces of light and learning: he might some day look down on the world through their panes."

      Gets a job; work in day, study at night. At length an offer of a job came from the stone-yard and Jude accepted it promptly without any fuss. He worked hard and sincerely almost throughout the day and continued his studies very late into the night. He could not save any money but he purchased books in spite of his meagre income. And for this he had even to forego the comfort of having a fire during cold nights. His only aim was then to accumulate money and knowledge to prepare himself to enter the precincts of the University when the chance came. "His desire absorbed him and left no part of him to weight its practicability".

      Sue traced at last. Unexpectedly he received a letter from his old aunt at this time. She warned him seriously not to have anything to do with Sue. As an artist or a designer she was working in an ecclesiastical warehouse which was the seed-bed of idolatry. Instead of deterring him, this rather encouraged him to find out her whereabouts. And during his spare time he started hovering around the shops where she might be working. Very soon he found a young girl sitting behind a desk in a particular shop and she looked like the original of the portrait. He entered the shop, purchased something and then lingered on. From her talk and manner he was convinced that she was none but his cousin Sue Bridehead. He came out soon feeling shy to stay on longer, He could have spoken to her and divulged his identity. But he refrained as he did not like to disregard his old aunt's advice so soon. Secondly he felt it would be very awkward to encounter such a lovely woman in his dusty and dirty jacket and trousers.

      Second meeting - Jude's reason for hiding his identity. Just after Two or three weeks Jude met Sue very unexpectedly. He was working with others outside a college in Old-time street to remove a block of worked freestone from a waggon. This obstructed the way and he suddenly found Sue alone with a companion standing on the road almost by his side. Jude turned his face lest she recognized him, but there was no need for that. Soon Sue left, but she left a very deep and lasting impression with her light, slight and elegant figure and with her keen and tender eyes with a touch of mystery. He fell very much attracted. But for some crushing reasons he had to suppress his emotion and his urge to disclose his identity to her. Firstly he was already married. Then it was not well for cousins to fall in love. Thirdly even though there might not be any hindrance in marrying a cousin, he remembered that marriages in their family had generally ended in tragedy So, even if he was likely to be acquainted with her at a later date, Jude wanted to look upon her as 'a kindly star, an elevating power, a companion in Anglican worship, a tender friend'.

Critical Analysis
     Another woman Sue Bridehead, casts her spell on Jude. Of course Jude is quite busy in accumulating money and knowledge but he can never forget his cousin Sue whose very photograph impressed him deeply. He wants to find her out in this city and does it. And when he gets a chance to observe her standing by his side, he is much affected by the charms of this light and slight and elegant lady. He is, no doubt, trying to control his emotion. But from his way of thinking and reasoning we can easily guess that he won't be able to resist the desire to get acquainted with her. So another woman is going to create complications in his life.

      Sue Bridehead, the heroine of the story. In this chapter we are introduced to Sue Bridehead, the heroine of the story. Her photograph impressed Jude. And when she stands near Jude, she seems to have some magic charm that stirs Jude's emotions and makes a deep impression on him.

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