Jude the Obscure - Study Guide Part Fifth, At Aldbrickham and Elsewhere: Chapters 5-8 Summary & Analysis

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Part Fifth, At Aldbrickham and Elsewhere: Chapters 5-8 Summary

Chapter 5. There is a fair at Stoke-Barehills. Sue and Jude take the child to the fair. At the same time Arabella and her husband arrive at the fair and see Sue and Jude in the crowd. Arabella becomes fascinated with them and follows them from exhibit to exhibit. Arabella runs into one of her old friends and complains to her about Jude and Sue. Arabella then meets with Dr. Vilbert and he gives her a potion that is supposed to make a man fall in love with a woman.

Chapter 6. Sue and Jude go to London on a trip that is meant to make it appear they have gotten married, but this does not stop the rumors that build around them. People talk and this talk is overheard by the children who use it to tease their son at school. Jude entertains he idea of moving again, but he is offered a job in a church that he does not want to pass up. However, Jude has Sue help him in the church and when they are spotted by church officials they are asked to leave because of the rumors that they are living in sin. For this reason, they decide to sell their furniture and become more mobile.

Chapter 7. Sue and Jude travel around for three years, taking odd jobs here and there as well as adding two children to their family with a third on the way. At the spring fair at Kennetbridge, Arabella recognizes Sue, where she is selling cakes with little Jude. Arabella speaks to her and learns that Jude has been sick. However, they have been living a happy life on the road. Sue tells Arabella that she and Jude are married, but this proves to be untrue. Sue also learns that Arabella's husband has died and she has turned to religion to console her.

Chapter 8. On the way home in Alfredston, where Arabella is now living with her friend Anny, she talks about Jude and expresses a desire to have him back. Anny accuses Arabella of always wanting what she cannot have. They come upon a man walking on the road and pick him up. The man turns out to be Mr. Phillotson, who has recently returned to teaching at Marygreen because of a sympathetic cleric there. Arabella tells Phillotson about seeing Sue and chastises him for not trying harder to force her to submit to the boundaries of marriage. At the same time Sue returns home and tells Jude about running into Arabella. Jude tells Sue that he thinks it is good they have decided to move on and that they should return to Christminster.

Part Fifth, At Aldbrickham and Elsewhere: Chapters 5-8 Analysis

Jude and Sue begin to have trouble in the town where they live because it is public knowledge that they are not married. The arrival of Jude's young son only causes this to be even more difficult. Jude begins losing work over it, so he decides they should sell their furniture and adopt a more temporary lifestyle. This seems to work for them because they do not stay in one place long enough for people to learn they are not married. The reader sees this situation and understands that if the morals of the time were strong enough to cause a teacher to lose his job because he allowed his wife to leave him, then they are strong enough to ostracize a couple who refuses to marry. Sue's reasons for not wanting to marry are strong. Sue believes marriage will take the romance out of their relationship. However, it seems it would be much simpler to just marry and avoid the disapproval of those around them. These two are strong in their beliefs, however, and it is this that spells trouble for them now and possibly in the future.

Arabella sees Jude and Sue at a fair and is jealous not only of their close relationship, but of their relationship with her child, a child she never truly wanted. This leads to Arabella's desire to steal Jude back when she sees them again after her husband has died. This could mean trouble for Jude and Sue, especially since Arabella has been known to use tricks to get what she wants. However, Jude and Sue have decided to return to Christminster, a move that might take them out of Arabella's way.

This section contains 745 words
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