Jude the Obscure was one of the most controversial novels of Thomas Hardy, and people even go as far as calling it “Jude the Obscene”. It’s quite a complex novel: we cannot simply say what actually caused the problems in Jude’s life (I don't like to call them problems but rather God’s doom); the seemingly strange nature of Sue is very evasive as the reader’s view on her changes drastically when she accepts Little Father Time as her and Jude’s son.

I have read books which are divided into parts; one of the most exemplary examples could be Anna Karenina, but Thomas Hardy in his Jude the Obscure adds some very little known quotes before starting each Part. Before beginning the Part First – “At MaryGreen” – he quotes this:

Yea, many there be that have run out of their wits for women, and become servants for their sakes. Many also have perished, have erred, and sinned, for women… O ye men, how can it be but women should be strong, seeing they do thus? — Esdras

And similarly, just to give one more example, before Part Fourth – “At Shaston” – he quotes:

Whoso prefers either Matrimony or other Ordinance before the Good of Man and the plain Exigence of Charity, let him profess Papist, or Protestant, what he will, he is no better than a Pharisee. — J. Milton

What could be the reason for Hardy to quote these things before every part? Is it just to give an introduction to the coming events? I doubt the reason could be that mundane.

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