Hard Times, Charles Dickens
The Industrial Revolution is the period marking the introduction of mass production, improved transportation, technical progress and the industrial factory system. Industrialisation changed people’s lives because Britain progressed from just a centre of “worldwide commerce” to embrace a “centre of manufacturing industry”, the increase in the mechanism of the textile industry and the utilisation of steam power meant that employment was to be found in central locations.
Dickens wrote “Hard Times” in 1854, when the Industrial Revolution was active. This influenced the way the book was written. It was a representation of his time. Times were hard for children and adults alike. The working class and the poor both struggled; giving the book its title “Hard Times”. Originally the book was published as short stories in a magazine, and each chapter ended on a cliff hanger, encouraging people to purchase the magazine and read on. The chapters were eventually made into three books, named Sowing, Reaping and Garnering. This refers to the child-plant metaphor and children require specific things such as love, food and warmth to prosper. Eventually. The people who were treated badly were the ones who helped those in need. Not only is Hard Times a work of fiction, it was meant to be a satire, a parody of ideas and ways of thinking at the time. In most respects, it wasn’t meant to accurately describe the way things were. Dickens covers up his parody with a realistic and extremely accurate depiction of a typical industrial town. Coketown is described as the very picture of conformity, with all the buildings looking like one another. “It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage”.
The first character we hear about in chapter two is Thomas Gradgrind, a man built on the idea that facts and...
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