Word count: 699
Jude the Obscure
According to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, religion is a “falsehood.” The implications of the “death of God” addressed by Nietzsche are portrayed through the characters and the plot itself of the novel Jude the Obscure written by Thomas Hardy. Nietzsche believes that religion has influenced and distorted the value of truth, the influence of morality, and the need for worship, leading people down a path of wandering. The main character in the novel, Jude, experiences many troubles throughout his life, which stem from uncertainty of his beliefs and desires. Religion seems to be the light Jude should follow, but it is actually an illusion, which leads to a falsehood of truth and meaning, morality, and the church. Friedrich Nietzsche believes that everything that made sense with God no longer exists and religion has led to the death of truth and meaning. This is a common theme in Jude the Obscure. Throughout the book, Hardy displays the feeling that religion is something that people use to satisfy themselves by giving their lives meaning. This is apparent in the main character Jude, who is an orphan constantly searching to give himself an identity. Jude gravitates towards people or places hoping to give his life meaning. His relationship with Mr. Phillotson led him to follow a religious path, believing it will help him add meaning to his life. Jude is illustrated as a wanderer, similar to those who are on the path of religion, wandering from place to place to find work and searching for his own identity. Hardy uses this allusion to convey that a religious path does not provide one true destination, but rather it leaves people wandering. The concept of morality and distinguishing between what is good and evil often causes angst and anxiety among people. Religion creates a battle of guilt and uncertainty. Throughout the novel, Jude is battling with his religious views and his deepest desires, wanting to be religious like his...
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