Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Jude's Obscure, Sue's Conflicted, I'm Nuts

Guess how much absurdity it takes for me to dissolve into a laughing fit?

Four pages.

It seems that the more of this paper I write, the more it seems like I am reaching for something that isn't there. Here's the paragraph where I decided I'd gone off the deep end:

Symbolically, Sue’s wish to be seen as feminine and masculine at the same time is most poignantly portrayed when, after escaping from her solitary confinement in the teaching school, she shows up on Jude’s doorstep. She is soaked to the bone and after Jude lets her in, he offers to let her change out of her wet dress and wear some of his own clothes until her dress is dry again. After she changes into his clothing, he comes into the room and observes her. As Hardy writes, “Sitting in his only arm-chair he [Jude] saw a slim and fragile being masquerading as himself on a Sunday, so pathetic in her defenselessness that his heart felt big with the sense of it (115).” Sue mentions her own clothes laid out by the fire to dry, saying, “They are only a woman’s clothes—sexless cloth and linen…(Hardy 115).” Sue has tried to shrug off the gender roles that have been assigned to her, but because women are hardly emancipated in her era, the masculine roles that she attempts to take on fit her as poorly as Jude’s clothing. Yet she sees traditional women’s roles for what they are: a false skin that she can shrug off any time they no longer apply to her.

I'm gonna have fun turning this in. I mean, what's the worst Gurney could do? Fail me? I highly doubt that's going to happen. In any case, he'll either think I'm brilliant or catch on to the idea that I'm really grasping at straws.

No comments: