Jude the Obscure

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (1895). Hardy’s protagonists are souls ahead of their time, who dare to aspire and love in defiance of Victorian class structure and social mores. In this bleak but moving novel, class barriers stymie Jude, a self-educated stonemason and would-be scholar, while convention damns his lover Sue, a pagan protofeminist. The flawed hero and heroine win modern hearts, while the author’s ferocious outcry against legal marriage, established religion, and nature itself, still challenges us today.

Total Points: 8 (TM 6) (LShriv 2)