Jude The Obscure Gender And Sexuality English Literature Essay

October 21, 2017 English Literature

The representation of adult females within Jude the Obscure [ Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure ( Wordsworth Editions Limited, Hertfordshire, 1995 ) ] is arguably based upon the societal constructs of the clip the novel was written Your Paper Will Be Finished Easily! – additional reading https://bible.org/users/eleanorhailey . It can be suggested that the female characters within the novel are portrayed as good if they stick to the traditional Victorian manner of life in that they repress much of their emotion and besides, their gender. In Jude the Obscure, we come across two really different types of female characters in which it can be argued that they serve the intent to do a remark sing the functions of adult females and adult females ‘s gender within society. Readers of the novel are presented with Arabella Donn, a instead highly sexual character and with Sue Bridehead, who is well more rational and apparently mundane.

Arabella is described as holding “ aˆ¦ a unit of ammunition and outstanding bosom, full lips, perfect dentition, and the rich skin color of a cochin biddy ‘s egg. ” ( p. 33 ) which as a consequence suggests to the reader she is a adult female who is instead sexual. Further, her character demonstrates this quality by throwing a hog ‘s genital organ at Jude, which allows her to suit into this ideal by showing her power within the hierarchy of gender by taking control of a phallus object and hitting a adult male with it, arguably castrating him. On the other manus nevertheless, we have Sue. Sue arguably represents a more rational lucifer for Jude in that she is less physically attractive and less sexual. Kathleen Blake remarks on Sue Bridehead ‘s character and provinces that she recognizes “ aˆ¦the struggle between Sue ‘s desire to be an single and the “ feminineness that breaks her ” but sets he fight in instead narrowly personal footings so that her feminism remains disconnected from a wider Victorian model. ” ( p. 704 ) [ Blake, Kathleen. “ Sue Bridehead, “ The Woman of the Feminist Movement ” ” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. Vol. 18, No. 4 Nineteenth Century. ( Autumn, 1978 ) , pp. 703-726. ] This portrays the thought that Sue is a adult female that is seeking difficult to work against the societal thoughts that were dominant at the clip ; as a consequence this makes her a adult female that represents what adult females should be making during the clip.

Sue is apparently a instead attractive character in that she is portrayed to travel against stereotyped outlooks. She avoids Phillotson ‘s perceptual experience of her as a small miss, and Jude ‘s vision of her as a godly animal. She is shown to defy the traditional function of a married woman, and farther the domestic parturiency that comes with being a married adult female within the middle-class Victorian period. She complains that the Church views her as an object to be given “ like a she-ass or nanny, or any other domestic animate being ” ( p.170 ) . By jumping from a window in order to get away the sexual demands her hubby is expected to do this suggests that she aims to lift above her fortunes instead than be bound by them. Although she additions admittance to a training-school for instructors, she remains excluded, arguably as a adult female, from university instruction. Sue sees the school as a cross between a nunnery and a prison, and she necessarily breaks free from it. Despite Sue ‘s persistent efforts for freedom, she ends up efficaciously buried alive as Phillotson ‘s married woman in Marygreen. Her destiny high spots the continuity of patriarchal unfairness in a manner that some happier stoping would potentially non accomplish.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

It can be suggested that Sue is a instead modern heroine in that non merely does she populate with work forces without desiring to get married them, but she besides lives a instead rich and rational life working alongside Jude. Hardy seems to be knocking the societal conventions that prevent her from making her full potency non merely as an rational but besides as a worker. However, he besides accidentally reinforces some of these conventions in that he portrays Sue as instead hysterical and dying and as a consequence this represents a common Victorian stereotype sing adult females being really emotional.

It can be suggested that the most dramatic component about Arabella is her animalism in that being a girl of a pig-breeder ; she is described as “ a complete and significant female homo ” compromised by her “ saltiness of tegument and fiber ” ( p.39 ) . Jude is attracted to her sensualness but yet repelled by her saltiness. This alone tells us a batch refering her character in that she is well hopeful to rational and societal betterment yet despite this she is apparently driven by animal appetencies and inclined to subject to enticement. Sue is said to be “ light and little, of the type dubbed elegant ” . In contrast to Arabella, “ there was nil statuesque in her ; all was nervous gesture ” ( p.90 ) . She as a consequence, arguably embodies ungratified mobility within the novel which could be an index of modernness. Both adult females love Jude, but Hardy nevertheless portrays these adult females as two really different characters. In Julian Cowley ‘s York Notes [ Cowley, Julian. York Notes Advanced: Jude the Obscure ( York Press, London, 2001 ) ] on Jude the Obscure it is noted that “ Arabella is physically robust and animal ; Sue is delicate to the point of looking ethereal, and she abhors physical contact. Arabella ‘s cognition is strictly of a practical sort, derived from the hurly-burly of experience ; Sue ‘s mind is directed to ideals and abstractions, detached from the universe of human interaction ” ( p.75 ) .

In looking at this novel from a feminist position, it can be argued that Hardy portrays adult females in a instead unfavorable visible radiation in that Arabella is apparently full of lecherousness and she is besides selfish whilst Sue is considered to be slightly of a annoyer. Further, because of these two adult females Jude ‘s programs are ruined. The inquiry is raised as to whether Hardy himself felt that these two stereotypes were an accurate portraiture of adult females within Victorian society. In Jude the Obscure it is deserving sing that Thomas Hardy may perchance be knocking the Victorian thought of quashing gender and restricting the bureau of adult females. By showing the reader with a adult female such as Arabella, Hardy is demoing the reader what gender would be if there were no societal restraints against it. Arabella is free to show herself freely and does non care what others think of her actions, she possesses the bureau to derive power over the Victorian codification, and besides over Jude. It can be suggested that the contrast portrayed between Arabella and Sue give us a slightly heightened sense of each character, nevertheless it can besides propose that Thomas Hardy himself is arguably more concerned with types instead than persons.

Therefore, the portraiture of Arabella and Sue within Jude the Obscure present us with two really different types of adult females within the Victorian period. The inquiry is raised as to whether Hardy did this intentionally or non, but however these characters are the subject of modern contention in that they both notably contrast one another. The novel shows us how loneliness and sensualness can forestall a individual from carry throughing their dreams through the character of Arabella, whereas through Sue ‘s character it is suggested that when free from the bind of matrimony her dreams excessively will non be fulfilled as she is of a lower position.


I'm Amanda

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out