What is marriage in Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. I want some help with an essay.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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It is important to also understand the emotional dynamic and gender double standards of behavior for women and for men in the novel Thomas Hardy wrote before 'Jude The Obscure.' This is because the author had already begun to tackle the idea of the honest examination of relationships in his earlier novel 'Tess Of The D'Urbevilles.' In 'Jude The Obscure' he expands the horizons of his theme to include marriage itself. In 'Tess of the D'Urbevilles,' many guardians of the church and of the establishment were outraged at Hardy's contention that despite being violated Tess remained morally pure as a female - what had happened was not her fault, but a man's - and society's. In 'Jude' he painted a satirical picture of hypocritical marriages of the time and in so doing criticized the establishment, the church and the unfair class system. Those critzed saw no evidence of any caring, generous christian God in these novels, only bleak cynicism and pessimism. This may have ben something to do with Hardy's own personality - his dear friend had taken his own life and Hardy had been in love many times, and married more than once. Perhaps he saw no comfort or consolation in his own faith at these times - and saw no loving God sustaining healthy marriages.

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