Jude the Obscure

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Jude the Obscure Characters

Jude Fawley

The novel’s protagonist, a poor orphan who is raised by his great-aunt after his parents divorced and died. Jude dreams of attending the university at Christminister, but he fails to be accepted because of… (read full character analysis)

Sue Bridehead

The novel’s other protagonist and Jude’s cousin. Sue’s parents were divorced and she was raised in London and Christminster. She is an extremely intelligent woman who rejects Christianity and flirts with paganism, despite… (read full character analysis)

Arabella Donn

Jude’s first wife, a vain, sensual woman who is the daughter of a pig farmer. She decides to marry Jude and so tricks him into marrying her by pretending to be pregnant. Arabella sees… (read full character analysis)

Richard Phillotson

Jude’s schoolmaster at Marygreen who moves to Christminster and fails to be accepted at the university there. Phillotson remains as a teacher, and he later hires Sue and falls in love with her. They… (read full character analysis)

Little Father Time

Jude’s son with Arabella, he was born in Australia and sent to England to live with Jude years later. The boy was never named or given love, and his nickname is “Little(read full character analysis)
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Minor Characters
Drusilla Fawley
Jude and Sue’s great-aunt, the woman who raises Jude. She is generally bad-natured, always warning Jude not to get married because of his family's past "curse" in marriages, and lamenting that he didn’t die with his parents.
The Widow Edlin
An old woman who takes care of Drusilla and then befriends Jude and Sue. She is always looking out for their best interests and lamenting the state of marriage in modern times.
Phillotson’s friend, a schoolteacher who usually advises him to take the most sensible and conventional route.
Physician Vilbert
A quack-doctor who travels constantly and sells false remedies to people in small towns. He tricks the young Jude into advertising for him for free, and later in life he woos Arabella as Jude is dying.
Farmer Troutham
A farmer who beats and fires the young Jude for being merciful to the crows he is supposed to be scaring.
Mr. Donn
Arabella’s father, a pig farmer and then butcher who has little love for his daughter but is a willing accomplice in her attempt to "trap" Jude.
Arabella’s second husband whom she met in Australia.
Anny and Sarah
Arabella’s friends who advise her on how to “trap” Jude into marriage.
Miss Fontover
Sue’s religious landlady, who smashes Sue’s statues of Apollo and Venus and then kicks her out.
The Undergraduate
Sue’s friend from years before, a nonreligious but moral man who was Sue’s intellectual mentor and her platonic roommate. He fell in love with her but Sue rejected him.
The Composer
A man who writes the hymn “The Foot of the Cross.” Jude visits him but finds that the composer is shallow and greedy.
Uncle Joe & Tinker Taylor
Two of Jude’s stonemason companions in Christminster.
The Christminster Landlady
A woman who takes in Sue and the children when no one else will, and then helps the family deal with their children’s deaths.
A pig-killer who never shows up, forcing Jude to kill his and Arabella's pig, much to Jude's dismay.