Jude the Obscure Author:Thomas Hardy A man of high ideals but lowly background, Jude Hawley throws himself into a seemingly endless fight against the conventions of his time. But a merciless fate seems to follow the hapless stonemason. — As a young man, Hawley dreams of going into a higher calling, such as academia or the church. But as the circumstances of his life buffet him, a ... more »disillusioned Hawley struggles to find his way.
Throughout his life, Hawley is also torn between two women: the seductive, scheming Arabella and the intelligent, iconoclastic Sue. His convoluted pursuit of both shapes his life and his struggle.
Like the protagonists of later-20th-century novelists such as Camus and Kafka, Hardy's Jude is a modern man fighting against the conventions and mores of him time. His is a world where time-honored traditions of religion, family, and society have begun to fray. This slow disintegration leaves individuals such as Hawley in a quandary: whether to obediently follow the old ways that no longer serve them, or to strike out into the unknown and create a new system of beliefs.
Thomas Hardy's final novel is a classic tale of man's struggle against fate and it remains as thought prvoking as when it was first published in 1895.« less