Jude the obscure
A passion for learning focuses Jude Fawley’s sights firmly on the intellectual pinnacle of Christminster, his ‘heavenly Jerusalem’. But his aspirations are hindered from the outset by the elitism practised by the ancient university; for Jude has little education and less social status.
Yet it is Jude’s discovery of women a fresher and wilder pleasure than his books that drives him irrevocably off course. His frustrated ambition for an academic, ecclesiastical life becames lost in his sexual appetite for the enticing Arabella and his spiritual need for Sue.
Moving steadily away from the achievement he once desired, Jude is drawn instead towards a despairing conflict with society, which leads to disaster and consequent ruin.