Jude the Obscure

by: Thomas Hardy

Part II: At Christminster

Summary Part II: At Christminster

Jude is disappointed to find that Phillotson does not remember him and has not fulfilled his ambitions. Phillotson is a foil to Jude, his complacency set against Jude's fervor. Phillotson represents a path more accessible to Jude than his aspirations toward an academic career, but Jude is loath to give up his Christminster ambitions. He also clings to Sue, arranging for her to teach with Phillotson as a way of keeping her near him.

Jude finds that the Christminster colleges are not welcoming toward self-educated men, and he accepts that he may not be able to study at the university after all. His propensity for drinking emerges. The episode in the pub, in which he recites Latin to a group of workmen and undergraduates, shows the juxtaposition of Jude's intellect with his outer appearance. Christminster will not accept him because he belongs to the working class, yet he is intelligent and well-read through independent study. The realization that his learning will help him only to perform in pubs sits heavily with Jude, and he is comforted only by the possibility of becoming a clergyman through apprenticeship.