In the opening chapter of “Hard Times” it is called “The one thing needful” Dickens describes what Mr Gradgrind believes is the most important thing in life which he thinks are facts, Dickens opens the chapter very dramatically by showing the school system at an extreme angle, for example he introduces Mr Gradgrind and his belief in the importance of facts, we know how important Mr Gradgrind feels about facts because he starts off by saying
“Now what I want is facts” he also goes on to say “facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else”
Dickens is telling us how strongly Mr Gradgrind feels about the importance of fact; he refuses to teach anything other than fact and believes that anything other than fact is useless and people should never envision or use their imagination because he presumes that they don’t need it and anything other than fact will get you nowhere in life.
Charles Dickens also talks about the way in which Mr Gradgrind’s physical description intimidates people for example
“The speaker’s mouth, which was wide, thin and hard set”
This suggests that Mr Gradgrind is a very harsh, dry, inflexible person, also
“The speakers obstinate carriage, square coat, square legs, square shoulders”
This implies that he is a very stubborn and perverse character. The writer also likes to portray Mr Gradgrind as a very commanding and dictatorial person who imposes himself physically on people by poking them, we know this because Dickens calls him, “square fingered”, and Dickens uses the phrase “Square” as a metaphor to suggest that Mr Gradgrind is firm and an inflexible character. Continuing on the subject of the one thing needful, Dickens describes the pupils as
“Little vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they are full to the brim”
This tells us that Mr... [continues]
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