Charles Dicken’s Coketown is dismal town full of uniform brick factory buildings that release enough black smoke to make every day a gloomy day. Coketown is in no way a warm or welcoming environment, but instead it is very rigid and uninviting place. This atmosphere makes it a wonderful representation of the “classic” factory town during the British Industrial Revolution. A town like this cuts out most of the flavor in a working-class person’s life and only leaves room for one thing, work.
Thomas Gradgrind believes that children should be brought up knowing and accepting the cold hard facts of life. Anything besides the facts is a waste of time. The facts were the only things necessary in life. Gradgrind aimed to rid the children at his school of any and all imaginative or fanciful thinking telling them to “never wonder.” He was distraught when he discovered that many of the factory workers enjoyed going to the library after work to read stories that would give them fanciful, unrealistic, or even immoral thoughts. He also believes that a person should act according to their own best interest.
Josiah Bounderby is a rich factory owner that is very stern in his ways. He is extremely concerned with maintaining the image of a self-made man that came from nothing. Often he would claim that he was born in a ditch, abandoned by his mother and raised by his drunken grandmother. This is a false image that he has fabricated to cover up the harsh way that he treated his true mother, who was a kind and loving woman that did her best to raise him with a good education. Until the end of the novel when he was exposed, Bouderby’s character represented the idea that success can be achieved for anyone from any circumstance through hard work and determination.
My favorite character in Hard Times is Thomas Gradgrind. For a better portion of the story I didn’t like him at all. His philosophy of fact and his rigid way of dealing with the pupils at his... [continues]
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"Hard Times." StudyMode.com. 10, 2008. Accessed 10, 2008. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Hard-Times-172941.html.