Week 9 seminar questions
Questions to prepare for the seminar on Jude the Obscure:
"You must either make a tool of the creature of a man of him" (Ruskin); "Culture has one great passion, the passion for sweetness and light. It has one even yet greater! - the passion for making them prevail. It is not satisfied till we all come to a perfect man; it knows that the sweetness and light of the few must be imperfect until the raw and unkindled masses of humanity are touched with sweetness and light" (Arnold); How does Jude respond to the ideas about culture set out by Ruskin and Arnold?
"I am not aware that there is anything in the handling to which exception can be taken"; why do you think Jude was shocking to contemporary readers? What remains shocking about it today?
Hardy addresses similar questions around marriage and the sexual double standard that we encountered in Tess of the D'urbervilles; what similarities and differences can you discern here?