Jude the Obscure - Study Guide Part Second, At Christminster: Chapters 4-7 Summary & Analysis

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Part Second, At Christminster: Chapters 4-7 Summary

Chapter 4. At work, Jude learns that Sue has come to the stoneyard looking for him. When Jude arrives home that night he finds a note from Sue waiting for him. Jude arranges to meet Sue in a public place. Jude tells Sue how he came to Christminster and mentions his old schoolmaster, Mr. Phillotson. When Sue mentions that she knows where Mr. Phillotson lives, they decide to walk to his home.

They have a nice visit with Mr. Phillotson, even though he does not recall Jude as he promised he would. They learn that Mr. Phillotson is looking for a pupil-teacher. Later, as Jude walks Sue home, she tells him that she is about to go back to London because she had a disagreement with her landlady and employer over some statues she bought and the landlady destroyed. Jude does not want her to go and suggests that she become a pupil-teacher with Mr. Phillotson based on a previous experience teaching. Mr. Phillotson quickly agrees and Sue is moved to the small village of Lumsdon.

Chapter 5. Mr. Phillotson takes Sue on as his student as well as a pupil-teacher, spending his evenings in her company. A few weeks after they begin working together, they take the children on a field trip to see a model of Jerusalem in Christminster. Sue argues that no one could possibly know what Jerusalem really looked like and that they should not be so intrigued with it since they are not Jewish. As Sue discusses this religious symbol in such frank tones, much to the embarrassment of Mr. Phillotson, Jude comes in and shows great interest in the model. However, Jude agrees with Sue's assessment.

Jude walks into the village early for a planned visit. Jude sees Mr. Phillotson put his arm around Sue's waist as they walk across the yard to Sue's boarding house.

Chapter 6. Jude goes to visit his aunt, who has become ill. While there, Jude asks many questions about Sue, only to be chastised once more to stay away from her. Jude's aunt tells Jude that getting involved with Sue will only bring him unhappiness. As Jude leaves the village someone stops him and asks if he is studying at university. When Jude explains that he cannot yet afford it, the man laughs and suggests that university learning is not for the likes of Jude. For this reason, when he returns to Christminster, Jude writes letters to five university headmasters to ask for advice and help in becoming a student. Jude receives only one answer, a headmaster who not unkindly suggests that Jude continue on his current path rather than aspire to an education. This upsets Jude and he gets drunk at a local tavern.

Chapter 7. Jude spends the next few days getting drunk rather than returning to his work. At the bar, Jude gets involved with a group of drinkers and fellow masons. One of them encourages Jude to recite the Creed in Latin. Everyone is greatly impressed with Jude's education. Later, very drunk and unhappy, Jude goes to Sue's boarding house. Sue lets him in and settles him down on the couch for the night. When Jude wakes the next morning, he is so mortified to his behavior that he leaves before Sue wakes. Jude returns to his room only to learn he has been fired from his job. Jude packs his things and returns to Marygreen. At his aunt's house, Jude speaks with the new minister and learns that he might be able to enter the church as a licentiate instead of a university graduate.

Part Second, At Christminster: Chapters 4-7 Analysis

Jude finally meets Sue only to learn that she is about to leave Christminster. Sue's statues were found by her landlady and employer, causing a great deal of friction between them when the woman crushes the statues under her foot. Sue has decided to go to London where her father lives, but Jude talks her into staying near Christminster as a pupil-teacher with his old schoolmaster, Mr. Phillotson. This introduction is ironic because the reader can see almost immediately that Mr. Phillotson as just infatuated by Sue as Jude. Not only this, but Jude sees Phillotson place his arm around Sue's waist, a gesture that is inappropriate unless a promise of some sort has been made between the two.

Jude tries to find a quick way to get into university and is basically told that university is not for a person like him. This again causes Jude to feel the worthlessness and sense of being unwanted that he felt in his childhood. Jude once again turns to drink like he did when his marriage to Arabella failed. Jude begins drinking so often that he loses his job for not turning up when he should have. Not only this, but Jude embarrasses himself with Sue by showing up at her house in the middle of the night drunk. This causes Jude to run away and hide at the only home he has ever known, his aunt's. There Jude is told there are other avenues if he truly wants to become a part of the church, giving Jude hope for a future that had appeared bleak.

This section contains 880 words
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