Jude the Obscure | Critical Essay by A. Alvarez

This literature criticism consists of approximately 15 pages of analysis & critique of Jude the Obscure.
This section contains 4,213 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by A. Alvarez

SOURCE: Jude the Obscure, in Beyond All This Fiddle: Essays 1955-67, Penguin Books, Ltd., 1968, pp. 178-87.

In the following essay, originally published in 1961, Alvarez claims that "the power of Jude the Obscure is … fictional rather than poetic" and sees the novel as essentially a study of loneliness rather than of character or of the workings of fate.

Jude the Obscure is Hardy's last and finest novel. Yet its publication in 1896 provoked an outcry as noisy as that which recently greeted Lady Chatterley's Lover. The press attacked in a pack, lady reviewers became hysterical, abusive letters poured in, and a bishop solemnly burnt the book. The fuss may seem to us, at this point in time, incredible and even faintly ridiculous, but its effect was serious enough: '… the experience', Hardy wrote later, 'completely cured me of further interest...

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This section contains 4,213 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by A. Alvarez