Miss Drusilla Fawley: Character Analysis - Jude The Obscure

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      Miss Drusilla Fawley is an elderly spinster great aunt of Jude who takes care of the orphan boy. According to Jude, she is "crusty and queer". Though somewhat cynical with a poor opinion about many persons in the neighborhood Miss Drusilla Fawley cannot be called a bad woman. She does not exert any great influence on anyone. She advises Jude and Sue against marriage but both of them do not pay heed to her advice and suggestion. Except for the fact that it is she who brings up Jude when he lost his parents and her casual remarks dissuading people from marrying, Aunt Drusilla does not play any vital role in the development of the plot of this novel. Of course, the reader gets prepared for the disastrous consequences of the matrimonial adventure of Jude and Sue. Aunt Drusilla disapproves of the marriage of Jude to Arabella, Sue to Phillotson, and finally the marriage of Jude and Sue.

      Her opinion about the various people in the novel. During the childhood of Jude, the aunt used to rebuke him for being a poor useless boy. She gets him a job of scaring away the birds from the fields of a farmer but Jude gets dismissed from it for being over sympathetic with the hungry birds. 1his provokes the old lady to remark "If you can't scare birds what can you do?" She even wished that the God of death could have taken him also with his parents. This aunt recalls the childhood of Sue when she had smacked her many times for her impertinence. Other stories she recalls are also amusing such as Sue's walking into a pond without shoes and stockings and with her petticoat pulled over her knees when she would have cried out Shame, Shame." But the pert little thing was audacious to remark. "Move on auntie. This is no sight for modest eyes". The aunt's later remarks about Sue as a townish girl with tight-strained nerves are also characteristic of the old lady who had never experienced the thrill of being in the same bed with a man. She criticizes the sober schoolmaster Phillotson too as one of those men here and there whom no woman of any niceness can stomach. course to console Sue who had married him she says that Phillotson is very civil and honourable.

      A woman with a stinging tongue but a kind heart. Aunt Drusilla has some peculiar notions. She believes that the family of Fawley's will never enjoy married life. It never seemed to sit well upon them. She says there is something in our blood that won't take kindly to the notion of being bound to do what we do readily enough if not bound." Of Jude's father and mother, she reveals the fact that they had not been getting on together and therefore got separated. from each other. His father's sister too could not enjoy a happy wedded life because she had not been able to get on well with her husband. Despite this harshness of the tongue, this aunt remains a kindhearted elderly lady helping Jude and others of course in a limited field. It is at her house that Jude meets a certain curate on whose suggestion he decided to become a licentiate in the church. That he did not and could not proceed ahead in the matter is a different matter.

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