Mr. Gradgrind is a man of "facts and calculations." He identifies a student, called Girl number twenty, who replies that her name is Sissy Jupe. Gradgrind corrects her that her name is Cecilia regardless of what her father calls her. Jupe's father is involved in a horse-riding circus and this is not respectable‹in Gradgrind's opinion. He advises Cecilia to refer to her father as a "farrier" (the person who shoes a horse) or perhaps, a "veterinary surgeon." Sissy Jupe is a slow learner, among the group of stragglers who admit that they would dare to carpet a room with representations of flowers because she is "fond" of them. Sissy is taught that she must not "fancy" and that she is "to be in all things regulated and governed by fact."
[pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]Mr. Josiah Bounderby is Mr. Gradgrind's closest friend, and just like Gradgrind he is a man "perfectly devoid of sentiment." Bounderby is very wealthy from his trade as a banker, a merchant and a manufacturer among other things. He has an imposing figure and his entire body is oversized, swelled and overweight. He calls himself a "self-made man" and he always tells his friends (the Gradgrinds, primarily) stories of how he grew up in the most wretched conditions. Mrs. Gradgrind has a very emotional temperament and she usually faints whenever Mr. Bounderby tells his horror stories of being born in a ditch or having lived the first ten years of his life as a vagabond.
Mr. Gradgrind is at first hesitant but he soon agrees with Bounderby that Cecilia must be removed from the school so that she might not infect the other students with her ideas. He and Bounderby find Sissy and proceed towards the public-house where she lives to deliver the news. Looking through the room, Sissy finds that the trunk is empty and she is suddenly fearful. The other members of the performing group also live in the public house and they try to explain to Sissy that her father has abandoned her. He has not left out of... [continues]
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