There are a number of differences between the letter to the Yorkshire Post and the excerpt from the article by Norman Page.
In the letter, William Walsham Wakefield used a lot of descriptive language to express his own opinion about Thomas Hardy’s novel, Jude the Obscure. Actually, this novel deals with sexual desire, children born out of wedlock and the growing insignificance of religion in Victorian society. However, Wakefield did not mention anything about the text. He only wrote about his opinion on how disgusted the novel was and that he bought the novel and threw it into the fire. He used words like “insolence”, “indecency”, that means offending against the recognised standards in that period of time. According to the social conventions and expectations in 1896, he believed that it was a disgrace to the public of their library to admit such garbage.
In the excerpt from the article by Norman Page openly expressed his opinion about the novel. Instead of criticism, he claimed that the novel was the key text for the understanding of the modern age that was emerging. He even said that it should have been seen as the first modern novel. Norman openly wrote about what was the novel was based on such as sexual behaviour and sexual morality, love and desire, marriage and partnerships outside marriage. In the last sentence of the article, Norman believed that the novel, Judy the obscure is more highly regarded today than ever before.
The huge discrepancy between the reception of the novel in 1896 and 1999 because of the rapid social and ideological change:
In 1896 there was not much communication available due to the lack of technology. There were more conservative sensibilities, people were less educated and there were less equal rights. Also, during the nineteenth century, people were not allowed to express freely or openly, otherwise they will offend against recognised standards and expectations in the society. The letter was written for educated...