Jude The Obscure: Part 2, Chapter 5 - Summary & Analysis

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Part 2: Chapter V

      Synopsis: Sue as a teacher impresses Mr. Phillotson - his emotional interest in Sue - the exhibition and the model of Jerusalem - Sue's unorthodox remark and Phillotson's sarcastic retort - Jude supports Sue - invitation to Lumsdon - School Inspector's surprise visit and her reactions - at Lumsdon - Jude sunned to find Phillotson as a rival in his new love affair.

      Sue does well as pupil-teacher: Mr. Phillotson was able to appoint Sue quite early as his pupil-teacher in place of another who did not turn up Sue gave a very good account of herself. She worked hard and efficiently and saved Mr. Phillotson half his labour. He was pleased and thought of getting her confirmed with the approval of the School Inspector. It was also part of his duty to give Sue private lessons in the evening. And this was done in the presence of Mrs. Hawes in accordance with some fixed article in the code. All went on well. But after some time Mr. Phillotson began to feel with some surprise that his admiration for the girl was giving way to some emotional interest in her.

      The three meet at an exhibition: After the lapse of a few weeks the school children were taken to Christminster to see a travelling exhibition. A model of Jerusalem was the special attraction. It was placed in the middle of the apartment and the teachers and the taught carefully observed the well- known places mentioned in the Bible. Sue was not so much impressed as she felt it was an imaginary production. She expressed her views which rather displeased Mr. Phillotson. Soon they found Jude there very seriously absorbed in the inspection of that model. Both of them were very pleased to meet each other. But Mr. Phillotson took this opportunity to criticise Sue for her sceptical remarks. She took it ill but Jude supported her. She was so pleased with Jude that she impulsively caught hold of his hand and turned away. The poor girl had not the least idea what a complication she was building up thereby in the future of both. Mr. Phillotson invited Jude to come to Lumsdon next Friday before leaving the place.

      Inspector's surprise visit-Sue's reaction: The Inspector of Schools was at that time paying surprise visits to the institutions of that area. He came to Sue's school and entered the classroom without her knowledge. She was absorbed in teaching. But when she saw him she uttered a cry of fright and almost fell down in a faint. Mr. Phillotson rushed to her side to help her. After the inspector's departure she was much upset thinking she might lose her job. But Mr. Phillotson consoled her gently saying that she was the best pupil-teacher he had ever had.

      A very rude shock for Jude at Lumsdon. Friday came and in the evening Jude set out for Lumsdon with his earnest desire to meet Sue. The wet weather could not dampen his mind, but it created some sort of foreboding in him. Soon he entered the village. Then he saw an unexpected and shocking Sight. Sue and Mr. Phillotson came out of the vicarage and were walking along the lonely lane towards their place. He held the umbrella over Sues head and his arm was round the girl's waist. After making a bit or remonstrance when allowed it. Jude was so much shocked and stunned that he sank into the hedge like one struck with a blight. It was beyond his dream that such an elderly person, twenty years older than Sue, could turn out to be his rival. But how could he interfere? He was still Arabella's husband. He could not stand in the schoolmaster's way. And from there Jude, a victim of hopeless and handicapped love, retraced his steps towards Christminster.

Critical Analysis
      Sue as a teacher: Sue proves herself to be a capable teacher. Her teaching, particularly her sketch of the model of Jerusalem on the board, impressed Mr. Phillotson. The chapter also reveals the tender and sensitive trends of her character. She almost faints after the surprise visit of the inspector. We find her also unable to resist the schoolmaster when he puts his arm round her waist.

      Jude, an ill-starred lover - a new development: Here we find another great shock and disappointment for Jude, when he discovers that Mr. Phillotson has become a rival in his love affair. This is a new turn in the plot and it is going to bring about complications in their lives.

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