Thomas Hardy pp 136-165 | Cite as

Jude the Obscure

Doctrine or Distanced Narrator?
  • Dale Kramer


In The Woodlanders and Tess of the d’Urbervilles Hardy establishes universal potentiality for tragedy by different methods, employing forms that are increasingly less mechanical in their influence upon the presentation of the narrative. Jude the Obscure continues this development and traces, like Tess of the d’Urbervilles, the protagonist’s movement through a number of reactions to dilemmas. But the final adequacy of the protagonist’s individual judgments and the true nature of the experiences that mark his course are more of an issue in this novel than they are in Tess. Jude’s perceptions are more directly and more frequently called into question through a confluence of judgments and of evaluations of the experiences.


Character Motivation Final Adequacy Sexual Passion Universal Potentiality Dead Language 
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  1. 2.
    Zabel, Introduction, Jude the Obscure Collier ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1962), p. 17.Google Scholar
  2. Robert B. Heilman, Introduction, Jude the Obscure Perennial ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), pp. 6–14.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    J. Hillis Miller, Thomas Hardy: Distance and Desire (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, Belknap Press, 1970), pp. 214–16.Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    For example, Beach, The Technique of Thomas Hardy pp. 234–35.Google Scholar
  5. Carl J. Weber, Introduction, Jude the Obscure Modern Classics ed. (New York: Harper, 1957), p. xvii.Google Scholar
  6. 16.
    Richard Benvenuto, “Modes of Perception: The Will to Live in Jude the Obscure,” Studies in the Novel 2 (1970): 31–41.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Wayne State University Press, Detroit, Michigan 48202 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale Kramer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisUSA

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