Author: Thomas Hardy
Number of Pages: 40
Jude's story -- his futile desire to better himself through education, his failed marriage and doomed love for the free-spirited Sue Bridehead -- shows with heartbreaking clarity the devastating effects of prejudice and oppression upon innocent minds, and forms a passionate plea for tolerance. Because of its frank treatment of human sexuality and its unflinching fatalism, Jude the Obscure aroused such a storm of controversy upon its publication in 1895 that, partly in response, Thomas Hardy abandoned the art of novel-writing altogether and devoted the rest of his life to poetry. Though we have come a long way in our social attitudes in the ensuing century, nothing about Hardy's masterpiece has lost its power to shock us and disturb our dreams.