Hard Times and Charles Dickens
Topics: Hard Times / Pages: 8 (1835 words) / Published: Mar 14th, 2005

The novel Hard Times by Charles Dickens is a fictitious glimpse into the lives of various classes of English people that live in a town named Coketown during the Industrial Revolution. The general culture of Coketown is one of utilitarianism. The school there is run by a man ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature . This man, known as Thomas Gradgrind, is responsible for the extermination of anything fanciful and integration of everything pertinent and factual into the young, pliable minds of Coketown's children. The older characters in the book, and especially Mr. Bounderby, are examples of how years of leading a utilitarian life can mold someone into an arrogantly bland and ignorant individual, which I think is one of Dickens main points in the book. There is no doubt that a lifetime of frugal and pragmatic living in a capitalist system can make you wealthy, but at what price does it come? I think that this question is the essence of this book. In regard to the matter of the seriousness, or realism, of the book, the basis of the previous question must be analyzed through the lenses of logic and reason to deduce the extent to which Hard Times may and may not be taken seriously. In my study of validity relating to historical and sociological environments, I will analyze the situations and personalities portrayed in Hard Times. Why not start at the beginning? In the first few sentences of the book, Mr. Gradgrind makes it clear that "facts alone are wanted in life," and that everything else is to be "rooted out." The first scene described in the book is of Mr. Gradgrind harshly singling out the assumed newest and least experienced (in terms of the strict principles cherished by the people of Coketown) student among his class and ordering her to describe a horse. Although the girl, Sissy Jupe, has traveled with the circus all of her life, which can be assumed as an entity prone to the utilization of the power and grace of an equestrian

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