Jude The Obscure: Part 3, Chapter 5 - Summary & Analysis

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Part 3: Chapter V

      Synopsis: Sue to leave for her friends's place - her parting words on the platform to Jude not to love her, but like her then repentant, sends a note allowing him to love her - Jude goes to her place - Sue expelled from Training School - their vulgar suggestion - Jude cannot tell her about his past - Sue, an unreasonable and capricious soul - another letter - coming back to Melchester.

      Sue leaves - to love or not to love. Soon Sue got dressed for her departure. She seemed to be somewhat repentant for her hasty action of the previous night. She decided to go to the sister of one of her fellow-students at a place near Shaston where she was running school (eighteen miles away from Melchester). She would stay there till the storm blew over and she could get back to her school. So just to avoid people they left very early for the station, but the landlady peeped out and saw them. On the platform he wanted to tell her about two things. But Sue stopped him by telling that she knew about the first one and earnestly requested him just to like her and not to love her. The train came and moved on with her leaving Jude, a sad and dejected person indeed. But the very next morning came a letter unexpectedly from Sue. She repented for her unkind and rude behaviour at the time of parting. And she wrote: "If you want to love me, Jude, you may,....and I'll never say again that you mustn't!" Jude was too perplexed to think how much importance he should give to this sudden impulsive note.

      Jude goes to meet Sue - her expulsion. A few days passed and Jude was much worried about not getting any other letter from Sue. Apprehending that she might have fallen ill he decided to go to her place, and wrote to her to that effect. He reached there the following day and was glad to find that she had only caught a bit of cold-nothing very serious. She sadly told him that she had not been in a mood to write to him as the school authorities had expelled her from the institution. Not only that, they were vulgar enough suggest that Jude and she should get married as they had created a scandal. She then blamed him for looking upon her as a sweetheart without saying a word about it and leaving it to her to discover it. She then regretted that she ought not to have been so intimate with him. Finding her in such a sad and pathetic condition Jude felt a strong urge to kiss her, but he controlled himself. He had come there with a decision to disclose all about his tragic past to her on that day. But he had to restrain himself as the time was not suitable. He simply consoled her by saying that she might go to some other training college and might depend on Mr. Phillotson to whom she was already engaged. But the suggestion did not please her at all. Jude left her place in the afternoon with a heavy heart. But strangely enough he received another letter from this capricious girl asking his pardon once more for her horrid behaviour and beseeching him to keep her still' as his friend and associate in spite of all her faults. Jude pardoned her and asked her to meet at him the Cathedral works when she would be back at Melchester.

Critical Analysis
      Sue reveals her strange and capricious nature. This chapter also belongs to Sue, revealing strangely capricious and unreasonable shades of character. Whether to allow Jude to love her is a great question for Sue. On the platform of the station she vary clearly tells him not to love her. But after reaching her friend's place she sends a note regretting her action and permits him to love her. Then again at first she does not want to disclose the vulgar suggestion of the school authorities. But then she does it giving the impression she is not unwilling to marry him. And the very next moment she says: "But my marrgying you dear Jude why, of course if I had reckoned upon marrying you I shouldn't have come to you so often!" And our Jude also begins to feel that she was a woman of rather capricious and unreasonable nature. Sue does not know her own mind.

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