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Jude the Obscure

Critique • Quotes

Jude the Obscure first edition, 1896First edition, 1886
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Approx. 154,000 words

Notable lines

The schoolmaster was leaving the village, and everybody seemed sorry.

— First line

"There's nothing like bondage and a stone-deaf taskmaster for taming us women. Besides, you've got the laws on your side. Moses knew. Don't you call to mind what he says?... 'Then shall the man be guiltless; but the woman shall bear her iniquity.' Damn rough on us women; but we must grin and put up wi' it!"


And so, standing before the aforesaid officiator, the two swore that at every other time of their lives till death took them, they would assuredly believe, feel, and desire precisely as they had believed, felt, and desired during the few preceding weeks. What was as remarkable as the undertaking itself was the fact that nobody seemed at all surprised at what they swore.


Sometimes a woman's love of being loved gets the better of her conscience, and though she is agonized at the thought of treating a man cruelly, she encourages him to love her while she doesn't love him at all. Then, when she sees him suffering, her remorse sets in, and she does what she can to repair the wrong.


Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons!


"She's never found peace since she left his arms, and never will again till she's as he is now!"

— Last line


Critique • Quotes

See also:

The Way of All Flesh

Samuel Butler

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