Jude the Obscure - Study Guide Part Second, At Christminster: Chapters 1-3 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Jude the Obscure.
This section contains 609 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Part Second, At Christminster: Chapters 1-3 Summary

Chapter 1. Jude, three years after his marriage to Arabella, finally finds himself walking into Christminster. Although Jude has always wanted to come to Christminster, the thing that finally pushed him to go was a picture of his cousin Sue Bridehead that he saw in his aunt's house. The picture of this beautiful woman inspired Jude to go to Christminster where she lives so that he might seek her out. However, as he arrives, Jude's only thought is to the beauty and intelligence represented by the many churches and colleges that populate the city. Jude spends his first day there exploring the college campuses and the architecture of this great city. Being in the city makes Jude feel almost one with all the great minds that once populated the great city.

Chapter 2. The following day Jude goes to a stone-mason he was told of from his previous employer to ask for a job. It takes several days, but Jude eventually gets word that he is being offered a job. Jude has no savings; therefore, he will be forced to work for a time before he might be able to afford tuition at one of the schools. This does not upset him at the moment because he is just so awed with being in Christminster.

Jude decides to seek out his cousin even though he has gotten a letter from his aunt asking him to stay away from her. Jude finds her working in a religious store creating religious art right in the main shop room. Jude watches her, but he does not approach her out of respect for his aunt. A short time later, Jude is working when he sees Sue come to the stoneyard. Again he does not speak with her.

Chapter 3. Jude goes to the church he knows his cousin Sue attends. Jude watches her and thinks about her, but again he does not approach her. On that same day, Sue Bridehead goes for a walk after church and comes across a man selling statues. Fascinated with one of Venus and Apollo, Sue buys them. However, Sue knows that this type of object is not appropriate for her room in her employer's house, so she covers them up and tells the woman that they are statues of saints.

Part Second, At Christminster: Chapters 1-3 Analysis

Jude finally goes to Christminster and falls in love with the architecture and the history of the old town. Jude desperately wants to go to school here in the hopes of becoming an educated member of the church. However, Jude knows that tuition is high and that he will have to work for some time to make enough money to pay for it. For this reason, Jude immediately seeks work as a stone-mason. This shows the reader how responsible Jude is despite his deep desires. It also reveals a deep religious side to Jude that the reader might have suspected but not known at this point in the novel.

At the same time, Jude has fallen in love with his cousin, a woman he has not even met yet. Jude stalks this woman, watching her at her work and in her church. Jude sees this woman as a religious woman who is pious and kind. However, the author reveals that this woman, despite her job as a religious art creator, is not deeply religious. In fact, she buys two statues that are often considered sacrilege by the deeply devoted. The reader should note this at this point in the novel because these statues will soon get Sue in trouble with her landlady.

This section contains 609 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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