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Jude the Obscure | Study Guide

Thomas Hardy

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Jude the Obscure | Characters

Character Description
Jude Fawley Jude Fawley is a mason who studies Greek and Latin on his own and aspires to become an undergraduate at the university at Christminster. Read More
Sue Bridehead Sue (Susanna Florence Mary) Bridehead is a designer of religious objects who lives as an independent woman before she meets Jude and later becomes a teacher. Read More
Richard Phillotson Richard Phillotson is a schoolteacher who goes to Christminster with the aspiration of entering the university but ends up teaching school in a district nearby. Read More
Arabella Donn Sly Arabella Donn is the coarse, earthy pig farmer and bar maid who, under false pretenses, marries Jude when he is 19. Read More
Anny Anny is Arabella's best friend; she advises her to trick Jude into marriage by getting pregnant.
Belinda Belinda is a Marygreen villager to whom Miss Drusilla Fawley relates some of Sue's story.
Mr. Bridehead Mr. Bridehead is an ecclesiastical worker in metal and Sue's father.
Carter The carter describes to 11-year-old Jude what he has heard about life in Christminster, sparking Jude's imagination and dreams.
Cartlett Mr. Cartlett is Arabella's Australian husband who marries her twice—once illegally and once legally.
Challow Mr. Challow is the butcher who comes too late to kill Jude and Arabella's pig early in the novel.
The Composer The composer is the musician who writes a particularly moving hymn; despite his talent, he disappoints Jude by being ordinary and materialistic.
Mr. Cockman Mr. Cockman is the young man Arabella is serving and flirting with when Jude sees her working as a barmaid after her return from Australia.
Mr. Donn Arabella's brutish father, Mr. Donn comes to live in the vicinity of Christminster to open a pork shop and helps his daughter trick Jude into marrying her a second time.
Mrs. Donn Arabella's stepmother, Mrs. Donn is a simple, quiet, unnoticeable woman.
Mrs. Edlin Mrs. Edlin, or the Widow Edlin, is the woman who takes care of Miss Fawley after Jude leaves Marygreen and who acts as a voice of reason as she observes events in the lives of Sue and Jude.
Miss Fawley Miss Drusilla Fawley is the nihilistic great-aunt of both Jude Fawley and Sue Bridehead. Jude's father was her nephew and Sue's mother her niece. She herself never married but raises Jude from age 11 and opposes his marriages.
Miss Fontover Miss Fontover is Sue's elderly, religious landlady and employer in Christminster; she breaks Sue's statues of non-Christian deities and forces her to move.
George Gillingham George Gillingham, a schoolteacher, is Phillotson's best friend and confidant who advises him to force Sue to stay married.
Mrs. Hawes Mrs. Hawes is the owner of the house in which Sue lodges when she first teaches school with Phillotson; she also chaperones Sue's lessons with Phillotson.
Mr. Highridge Mr. Highridge is the curate at Marygreen who advises Jude he can become a licentiate without going to university.
Uncle Jim Uncle Jim is a mason who works with Jude; he is present when Jude gets drunk in the pub and recites the Nicene Creed.
Uncle Joe Uncle Joe is a mason who works with Jude; he is present when Jude gets drunk in the pub and recites the Nicene Creed and is also in the crowd when Jude returns to Christminster on Remembrance Day.
Sarah Sarah is one of Arabella's friends who advises her to trick Jude into marriage by getting pregnant.
Jack Stagg Jack Stagg is a mason who works with Jude; he spots Jude in the crowd when he returns to Christminster on Remembrance Day.
Tinker Taylor Tinker Taylor is an ironmonger who works with Jude and is with him when he gets drunk in the pub and recites the Nicene Creed. He is also in the crowd when Jude returns to Christminster on Remembrance Day.
Tiler Working on the Brown House roof, a tiler tells 11-year-old Jude where Christminster is and that it is visible on clear days.
Father Time Father Time (also called little Father Time, little Time, and little Jude) is Jude and Arabella's son; he is a depressed child, hyperconscious of the misery in the world. He kills himself and his two half-siblings.
Miss Tracely Miss Tracely is headmistress at the training school for teachers at Melchester.
Farmer Troutham Having hired Jude to scare away crows in the cornfield, Farmer Troutham beats and fires Jude after he catches the boy allowing the crows to eat.
The Undergraduate Appearing in Sue's narrative, the undergraduate is the unnamed student who is Sue's platonic first lover. He eventually gets a job as a journalist but dies of a broken heart.
Undergraduates Undergraduates, both intoxicated and not, populate the tavern where Jude gets drunk after his rejection; they challenge him to recite the Apostles' Creed.
Vilbert Physician Vilbert is a quack doctor who peddles potions and remedies to the people of Marygreen and other towns. He pursues Arabella as Jude is dying.
Villagers Various residents and tradespeople appear throughout the novel, questioning or commenting on events and characters.
Mrs. Williams A newcomer to Marygreen, Mrs. Williams asks Miss Drusilla Fawley about what brought 11-year-old Jude to live with his great-aunt.
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