In Jude the Obscure, one man, Jude Fawley, dreams of elevating his station by becoming a scholar at Christminster. Instead, the choices he makes or is forced to make keep him from reaching his goal. The bleak Victorian novel zeroes in on the expectations of society and what happens to people who try to go their own way. Jude and his lover, Sue Bridehead, decide not to get married, even though they have children together. A tragedy pushes the pair apart at the end and Jude ends up dying without Sue.