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How Does Jude Feel About Sue?
I think Jude feels the same way towards Sue as she feels towards him. Jude is written to have a reluctant tone towards Sue, and that is because he doesn’t want to deal with an inevitable bad ending for him. He is like most of us; running away from his problems. Just because he is running away from this problem, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t feel the same way. He obviously does and that’s why he’s trying to avoid it altogether, because the feelings he has for Sue are an issue for him. It will leave him in a bad spot no matter what decision he ultimately comes to.
@msar This is not true at all. Sue doesn’t feel controlled by Jude, she feels controlled by the trapped marriage she is in and society’s pressure. That’s why she’s running to Jude, in an effort to escape the life she feels so trapped in. They obviously have feelings towards each other, or why else would there be a conflict in the first place? They’re not feeling drawn to each other because they’re uncomfortable with one another. If that were the case, the story would be over very quick.
@xmysterio This is how I read it. It's like Jude is scared of a relationship with Sue. He wants to be with her, but he can't. So he is scared of what society will say, what his religion will say, etc. He fears these things, so he hides from his feelings whenever possible. But his feelings still show through, despite his efforts to hide them ("I wish you were happy, whatever I may be!"). It really shows Jude's predicament: he loves her, but is fearful of a relationship with her--so much so that he can't even feel comfortable express his feelings (even a little bit) when they are alone! And Sue seems to kind of go back and forth between trying to hide her feelings and show them to varying degrees of subtlety. She places her hand on his and looks at him "wistfully," but she also tries to hide her feelings, as Mr. Chisnell pointed out, by speaking as formally as she can as if to prove that she doesn't have any feelings for him.
@username27 I can see your view here and I will respect it. I think what this story ultimately boils down to is a tale of ethics and morals being tested. Do you think that's a fair representation of the passage? I think both our views on the subject fit into this.
@gil I like your point, and the quote really helps to explain. I interpreted the storyline slightly differently. At first read, I felt as though Sue still held the hope of being with Jude. She was in love with him and continued to pine over him despite both of their relationships. Jude, however, was more reserved with his feelings. He seemed to realize that he could not be with Sue, despite their love for each other. But, I felt he had an appreciation for their relationship, whether it was romantic or not. He still cared for her, despite his current relationship. He would be extremely hesitant to display their romantic feelings for each other.
@mangoman I think that is a very interesting way to look at this excerpt. The tension that happens in the story comes from the fact that Sue is in a marriage, and the characters are struggling against their own morals in the case of Jude, and society's expectations in the case of Sue. When I first read this book I just thought the conflict was an almost Romeo and Juliet style romance where the characters are kept apart by an external situation, but now I definitely think that the conflict partially comes from the characters themselves.
@nicole, I also agree with this viewpoint. I think Jude is very conflicted with Sue. You can tell that he has feelings for her and wants to be with her. But it's against his religion to be with her so it makes it a very difficult situation. With Sue she feels trapped in her marriage and doesn't necessarily know how to escape it. Like you said, she talks to Jude with a very formal tone in order to hide her feelings. Which I never really thought about until you brought it up. I was confused at first with why she was talking so formally to someone she was in love with but I now realize that it's because she doesn't want him to know. Even though he may know, it probably makes her feel better. I think this is clearly about two people who want to be together but society as a whole is stopping them from doing so. What you brought up about Sue's tone definitely opened up a new idea for me.
@nicole I agree. People are misconceiving Jude as not feeling the same towards Sue. However, I think that him feeling the same towards her is what’s putting him in this predicament in the first place. There wouldn’t be a conflict if he didn’t feel the same way. This shared forbidden love they feel for each other is the cause of the stress Jude is undergoing in the piece, hence what is keeping him up at night as we’ve seen.
@leinweber I think this is a really cool comparison and helps us to better analyze the literature by mentioning a fairly well-known piece. I also interpreted the story similarly, as forbidden lovers. But, the concept of this story is, dare I say, littered with a multitude of complexities, rendering it more complicated and mature than Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet can be described as a story of teenage star-crossed lovers, immature and naive, only pining after each other in search of sexual comfort and a connection that is only developed over their "love at first sight" idea. The story of Jude and Sue is one of two mature adults, battling their own wars inside their heads and making attempts not to embrace the connection they feel with one-another because they know it is morally wrong.
@xmysterio I agree with you completely. Sue is not trapped by Jude. In fact, Jude is the person who makes her feel the most free. That is why she is so drawn to him, despite her marriage, because her partner is the one tying her down. Jude is who she holds the real connection with, yet it is riddled with complicated feelings as neither of them can be with the other.
@delphine Yes exactly. Sue is gravitated to Jude because of the appealing life they can provide to one another. This is a perfect illustration of their desire and longing for each other, not their trapped emotions and thoughts about each other.
@nicole I disagree with one of your ideas. I don't think that Sue was trying to prove she didn't have feelings. If that was the ccase Sue wouldn't have called Jude "dear" and she definitely wouldn't have reached for his hand. I think that the formal tone was there more out of respect for Jude. Jude was clearly more uncomfortable with the idea of Sue potentially having an affair than Sue was, so I think Sue's formal tone was a reflection of that. That Sue was trying to say that she respected Jude's decision.
@savhoisington I agree that Jude and Sue's relationship seemed mutual. I've seen points made that Jude seems uneasy with Sue's feelings and words toward him. But I think that the feeling is reciprocated. I interpreted the religion bit as something he struggled with due to the feelings he had for Sue.
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