Jude the Obscure - Study Guide Part Sixth, At Christminster Again: Chapters 5-11 Summary & Analysis

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Part Sixth, At Christminster Again: Chapters 5-11 Summary

Chapter 5. Sue goes to Marygreen where she stops by Phillotson's home the night before their wedding. Sue reacts badly when she sees the marriage license, a reaction that makes Phillotson question his own motives. Widow Edlin also questions this marriage after Sue destroys a pretty nightgown she once bought for Jude. Widow Edlin to encourage Mr. Phillotson to call off the wedding, but he refuses. They marry early in the morning and afterward Mr. Phillotson promises to allow Sue her own bedroom.

Chapter 6. Arabella comes to Jude late one evening and tells him that her father has thrown her out of his house and she is in need of a place to sleep. Jude reluctantly allows her to stay with him in his new lodgings. The next day Jude pays for Arabella to go to Alfredston to retrieve some items she left there. When she returns, she comes with the news that Phillotson and Sue are married. Arabella takes Jude to a tavern where she buys him a few drinks. Arabella encourages Jude to drink heavily and eventually he is drunk enough that she is able to take him to her father's new pork shop where she plans to seduce him.

Chapter 7. Arabella tells her father that she plans to keep Jude drunk until he agrees to marry her. Three days later Arabella and her father throw a party. The party lasts all night. In the morning, Arabella's father accuses Jude of promising to marry his daughter, seducing her, and then backing out. Jude becomes annoyed and marries Arabella just to prove he is an honorable man.

Chapter 8. Jude and Arabella move into lodgings of their own. Jude becomes ill and cannot work. One afternoon he asks Arabella to write to Sue and ask her to come. Arabella claims she has, but Sue never appears. Convinced that Arabella did not send the note, Jude decides to go to Sue. Jude hides in the church and waits for Sue to come inside. They speak for a few minutes and Sue allows Jude to kiss her, telling him that her marriage is in name only, that she still loves Jude. Jude asks her to run away with him, but she refuses on the same grounds that led her to remarry Phillotson in the first place. Jude returns to Christminster sicker than before.

Chapter 9. Jude returns to Arabella and she becomes convinced he will soon die. Back in Marygreen, Sue decides she should give herself to her husband completely to repair the sins she has committed. Sue hesitates, taking longer with the dishes than necessary and then asks Widow Edlin to stay the night. Finally Sue goes to Phillotson and he takes her into his bed.

Chapter 10. Jude briefly recovers, but then becomes ill again. Jude is often delirious and one day he becomes vulgar with Widow Edlin when she tells him of Sue's decision to be a true wife to Phillotson. Later Dr. Vilbert arrives to check on the patient and Arabella comes onto him, suggesting she fed him his own love potion.

Chapter 11. It is Remembrance Day and Arabella is anxious to join the festivities. Her father is supposed to come sit with Jude, but he has not arrived. Arabella goes out for a short time, leaving Jude alone. When she returns, some of his old friends come by and ask Arabella to join them at the boat races. Arabella goes upstairs to tell her father where she is going, but finds he has not returned. Not only this, but Jude has died in Arabella's absence. Arabella leaves him alone to go to the boat races, flirting with Dr. Vilbert the whole time, before she finally returns to call the coroner for Jude. Widow Edlin comes and sits with Jude before the funeral with Arabella. They discuss Sue and come to the conclusion that she has many miserable years ahead of her.

Part Sixth, At Christminster Again: Chapters 5-11 Analysis

Sue remarries Phillotson even though she clearly does not want this life for herself. Phillotson sees Sue's unhappiness and promises they will have separate bedrooms. This lasts for a few weeks, but after Jude comes and begs Sue to run away with him one last time, she becomes a complete wife to Phillotson in the hopes that it will wash away all her sin. Sue has allowed the beliefs of a religion to lead her into a miserable life with a man she never loved while the man she does love finds himself tricked into remarrying his own ex-spouse and committed to a life of unhappiness.

Jude slowly wastes away as Sue lives a miserable life with Phillotson. In the end, Arabella, who so desperately wanted Jude back, is already on the hunt for a new man despite the fact that Jude is still alive. When he dies, callous, selfish Arabella leaves his dead body undiscovered so that she can go to the boat races. Jude, a man who once had great dreams and hopes, a man who once loved with his entire soul, dies alone without anyone to even notice his passing. Jude has truly become obscure in his death because of the strict beliefs of an entire society of people who have forced their beliefs on the one woman who could have made Jude something more than what he was.

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