Jude The Obscure: Part 2, Chapter 7 - Summary & Analysis

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Part 2: Chapter VII

      Synopsis: Jude a completely broken down, person - goes to bars - his boasting and blaspheming - rushes to Sue at midnight to be consoled - slinks away in the morning - dismissed from service - goes to Marygreen to rest and repent - meets the Curate - his helpful suggestion.

      Jude at taverns - his boasting and recitation from the Scriptures in Latin. Jude was now a totally bankrupt person both emotionally and intellectually. His dreams had burst like a bubble and the loss of the one affined soul he had ever met was too much for him. He re-read the academician's note and felt terribly depressed. After all this he had no mind to work and earn his livelihood. So he started visiting cheap bars and taverns. There he would try to forget his miseries by drinking and mixing with the low and common people of the city. There he would take part in discussion and often boast of his intellectual acumen. One day he was sitting in a corner after spending all his money on drink. Suddenly he began to boast that he did not care a damn for the academicians and could challenge them to prove his superiority. There were two undergraduates in the company and they just mocked at him. Two very common and elderly persons, who had some regard for Jude, requested him to recite something in Latin from the Bible. He agreed, provided someone stood him a drink. One of the undergraduates offered the money for whisky. And to the great surprise of the whole company he recited excellently in Latin important passages from the Bible. Now it was Jude's turn to scoff at them. In his drunken mood he abused them, called them a pack of fools and left the place in a huff.

      An indomitable urge to meet Sue. On his way back, drunken and demoralised, Jude felt an irresistible urge to go and meet Sue that very night. He could not suppress his 'childlike yearning for the one being in the world to whom it seemed possible to fly'. It was about eleven o'clock - when Jude tapped on the pane of Sue's room calling her by name. She came out and was shocked to see him in such a miserable condition. At the very sight of Sue he cried out in a mournful voice that he was a terribly disappointed Soul and that he had been drinking and boasting and blaspheming and reciting holy things in public bars of low reputation. Then he very pathetically appealed to her not to hate him like others for all these lapses. Sue treated him very softly and kindly, took him in and had him seated on an easy chair. She went upstairs after advising him to take rest and sleep comfortably at night. She would come down in the morning. Jude was up early. He came to his senses and felt very much ashamed for his conduct. He very quickly and stealthily left place.

      To Marygreen again - meets a curate at his aunt's place. Back at his lodgings Jude found a note of dismissal from his employer (for blaspheming in a drunken state in a public house.) He was already contemplating to go to Marygreen to hide himself, to rest and to repent. So without making any fuss he packed up and started for his aunt's place at Marygreen. He had no money, so after reaching Alfredston he pawned his waistcoat. He slept under a stack of hay at night and reached Marygreen next morning. After taking his breakfast he had a short sleep in his old room and after waking up he pondered sadly over his failure both in ambition and in love. Suddenly he heard the village curate praying with his aunt. Jude called him in and disclosed a lot about his recent disgrace and disappointments. He regretted losing his chance to become an ordained minister of the church. The curate consoled him and told him that he might join the church as a licentiate if he was serious about it, but then he would have to give up his strong drinking habits.

Critical Analysis
      Jude and his pathetic predicament. This chapter is fraught with deep pathos and despair. Jude's cup of misery and disappointment is full. He lacks the strength of mind to overcome it. So to down his misery in drink he goes to cheap bars, boasting and blaspheming senselessly there. Then in that drunken mood, regretting and repenting, he rushes to Sue at about midnight. He confesses everything to her and then beseeches her not to despise him like others. But in his heart of hearts, he knows that Sue is also lost to him.

      Jude and the curate - his encouragement. Jude comes to Marygreen again to his old aunt to rest and repent quietly. He meets Mr. Highridge, the curate of the village. After hearing Jude's pathetic tale of disappointment he suggests that he may enter the church as a licentiate if he is keen about it. This brings a ray of hope into the hopeless gloom of his life.

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