Jude The Obscure: Part 3, Chapter 2 - Summary & Analysis

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Part 3: Chapter II

      Synopsis: Jude and Sue makes an excursion to Wardour Castle - decide to walk seven miles to catch the return train from another station - miss the train - have to pass a night at the shepherd's cottage - back to Melchester in the morning - the ominous look in the eyes of the porter of Sue's hostel.

      A holiday and an excursion to Wardour Castle: A few weeks later on a particular day Sue suggested to Jude that they should have an outing next day as she would be free from work from three to nine. They decided to visit Wardour Castle - a classical building with a lot of pictures. Next afternoon they travelled by train to their destination. They reached the Castle in time and there they wandered through the picture galleries for a fairly long period. Jude's preference was for devotional pictures. After taking their meal Jude proposed they should walk for seven miles across the high country to the north and catch a train for Melchester from another station. Sue readily agreed for this adventure and they started with great joy and excitement. It was open country, wide and high. And after covering nearly half the distance Sue seemed to be quite tired. Jude felt sorry for her and was a bit worried. They could not find any human habitation on the wide expanse. At last they met a shepherd who pointed out at a distance his mother's house and asked them to go on and take their rest there.

      Circumstances compel them to spend a night there: Soon Jude and Sue reached the shepherd's cottage. The old woman received them cordially. Soon the shepherd also came and to their dismay informed them that it was too late for them to catch the evening train from the next station. So they would have to spend the night there to catch the early morning train for Melchester. When they came to know that they were not married couple, it was decided that Sue would lie down with his mother. Instead of being worried. Sue was rather elated about facing such an odd and unexpected situation. Still, just to provoke her, Jude called her an urban miss having nothing conventional about her. But Sue asserted she was really the Ishmaelite - an outcast at war with society. Next morning they caught the train in time and reached Sue's college without much delay. When the porter opened the gate there was an ominous look in his eyes. Before parting Sue presented a new little photograph of hers to Jude.

Critical Analysis
      Sue the unconventional rebel. This chapter shows Jude and Sue coming closer to each other and their intimacy growing deeper. Even unforeseen circumstances favour it. It also reveals some typical traits of Sue's character. She is imbibed with a spirit of adventure. She readily agrees to walk seven miles across the open country and does not worry at all about passing a night at the shepherd's place ignoring the risk involved. She is quite an unconventional girl, a rebel not afraid to be at war with society.

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