AP English P. 4
September 30, 2010
Hey Jude the Obscure
When Hey Jude, one of Paul McCartney’s most popular songs, was written, there was a bit of speculation as to who “Jude” was. Some think Jude refers to the novel Jude the Obscure (or as I prefer, Jude the Miserable) by Thomas Hardy; there are several things that would support their statement and a few that do not. While it is an interesting experiment to compare both song and novel, it will become clear that the composer had other purposes reserved for Hey Jude. Paul McCartney’s immediate purpose for writing Hey Jude was to comfort John Lennon’s son, Julian, while his parents were going through a divorce (about.com). In later years, Paul would confirm this. The actual song talks about “taking a sad song and making it better” (The Beatles via elyrics). Basically it has to do with dealing with what the world throws at you and going out and taking it on. It also talks about a girl. In the case of Julian, it would presumably refer to either his mother or his father’s new wife. Having known Paul’s purpose for writing the song, the first person from Jude the Obscure that presents himself might be Jude’s oldest son with Arabella Donn (Jude Jr.). We can easily rule him out however because he killed himself which defeats the whole purpose of making the best of things and dealing with life’s hardships. Jude Sr., on the other hand, might bear a resemblance to Paul’s Jude. Jude Fawley keeps going through all of his struggles keeping with the main message of the song. One line of the novel that really stuck out at me was “But nobody did come, because nobody does; and under the crushing recognition of his gigantic error Jude continued to wish himself out of the world” (Hardy). Looking back, this line foreshadowed much of the strife he would have to go through. The song said “don’t carry the world upon your shoulders” (The Beatles via elyrics); it seems clear that the song would console Jude from...
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