This is the first book I read about by Thomas Hardy.It’s one of the books I can call “good reading”. Although I am not afan of Thomas Hardy, I like this bookvery much. It is told the struggle to become a big and important person bygoing to a genocide town called Jude who lives in the rural part of Romania.But before the genocide, there is a woman who is not at all ethical, and then thereare other obstacles. The struggle against all these obstacles is given by theauthor’s own style in response to the challenges given to life. Jude’s greatand respectful struggle for education is then transformed into a gathering forlove and a challenge to the church.
However, in this struggle, in which thefate and society are oppressed, the human being is still affectionate.Hardy invests all dominant norms in society in thetable; the social class system, marriage, religion, sexuality, especially howorganized religion can turn into a monster. Thomas Hardy, one of theforerunners of 19th century English literature with poems and novels, istelling a complicated life with a comprehensive text on rural life, which alsoserves as a fund in other Jude’s works. This novel, covering all phases of thelife of the main character Jude Fawley, goes far beyond being a work of drawinga classic rural life chart, because it is compelling and daring in terms of thelanguage and language used and the religious and social conditions of the timeit was used. Jude Fawley is an unfortunate child in a family context, living adifficult life in Marygreen, pointing to a small universe. The separation ofthe teacher, Phillotson, who is the only person who positively affects hislife, becomes a factor that increases the already existing hereditaryunhappiness. But according to Jude, Christminster is not only a center forscience and religion, but also a city of happiness.
Reminiscent of a utopiancity, Christminster is a world that is far beyond his time, able to make a mancompetent according to Jude. As a matter of fact, the fact that the idea of??immigrating there is definite makes it possible for Jude to enter into theperiod of enlightenment and to do intellectual work on it.The negativities in hero’s life also occur preciselyin this period. For example, Jude does not always bring the books he wants whenhe promises a character, a mixture of doctor and charlatan, who constantlytravels where he lived. Even though he does this, Jude is unbearable and startsto study with his own efforts.
Arabella, one of the three great characters onthe Roman axis and at the center of the agonies of Jude’s emotional and sexuallife, is one of the most important details in which the novel is boldly brave… It is quite brave that it does just what it does to meet Jude, a cycle inwhich everyday life is surrounded by the church and therefore religion. Sue,who caused Jude to turn into a kind of Majnun along with Arabella, is the mainsource of the character’s and his emotional conflicts. Although the blood tiesbetween them are back on the battlefield, they are on the “family”and “unhappy marriages” it is an element that reminds us of theimportance of constantly emerging. It can be said that there are basically twobreaking points in this novel.
The first is that Jude meets Arabella andmarries in a fast process, taking a very different life, which causes Jude toabandon his dream of Christminster and leave behind his idealistic character. A”pig cutting” scene during the period of their marriage is a detailthat shows the reader that a difference between the twin ceilings and amarriage that should never have happened. Arabella’s attempt to turn this eventinto a kind of ritual ceremony, the fact that the pig is respected because itis alive-even if it looks that way-reveals the basic incompatibility betweenthe two.Indeed, Jude is a naive character who is careful notto step on even the worms while walking in his childhood, as the author hasclearly portrayed, and this scene is the first indication of the separationbetween him and his wife. The other breaking point is that they leave afterwandering years with their husbands and go to Cristminster and meet theirrelative Sue there. Sue was certain about the fact that her natural marriagewith Jude was complied with morality, because it was grounded on love ratherthan emotional pleasure as Arabella’s.
But this still ran contradict to thethen social moral principles which did not welcome the women who opposed totraditional marriage. Rejected by contemporary society, their legal marriagewas delayed. They were disliked by the public because of their odd style oflife. To avoid meeting Arabella and other friends, they decided to move off again.As Jude requested, they returned to Christminster. However, there the pregnantSue with their children was still rejected by many landlords.
In order to finda place to live, Sue had no choice but to move about in the street with hereldest son Father Time. Then the tragedy happened: Father Time killed hisbrothers and sisters and then himself. Extremely astounded and grapes by thesadness of her children’s death, Sue, the once independent and fearless woman,finally broke down.
She was affected by the mind of self-abasement before thelaw and the convention that she used to resist. Considering her first marriagesolid, at last Sue returned to Phillotson,indulging herself in agony as his wife this time out of her own will. Shesacrificed herself in her remarriage with Phillotson that was not satisfactorybut conventionally accepted. Sue’s attempt to put her advanced ideas intoeffect proved to be a failure, which suggested that the gap between new women’sideal world and the reality was large and deep.
Sue’s ideal world was full ofliberty, where people could exhibit their individual character in full swing,without being influenced by others. They are given the right to enjoy freedomin religion, political matters, love, and marriage.Based on more materialthings related to Arabella, Jude reveals his emotional tendencies in relationto Sue. Especially, Sue’s character based on ambiguities causes the death ofJude’s Cristminster-based utopian life, when Phillotson’s teacher becomesengaged. The rhetoric of the marriage institution of the characters of Jude’smarriage and non-marriage relations with Jude, Arabella and Sue, which has notbeen welcomed in the religious-based social life of the time, and which causedthe beginning of an excommunication process, he played a big part in his fate.