The theme of fidelity touches upon the conflicts of personal interest, honesty and loyalty that occur throughout the novel.
Dickens' Attitude Toward Education in Hard Times Essay
Certainly, characters like Josiah Bounderby and James Harthouse seem to be regularly dishonest while Louisa Gradgrind and Sissy Jupe hold fast to their obligations and beliefs. In Louisa's case, her fidelity is exemplified in her refusal to violate her marital vows despite her displeasure with her husband. Sissy's exemplifies fidelity in her devotion to the Gradgrind family and perhaps even more remarkably, in her steadfast belief that her father is going to return for her seeking "the nine oils" that she has preserved for him.
The theme of escape really underscores the difference between the lives of the wealthy and the lives of the poor. In Stephen Blackpool , we find a decent man who seeks to escape from his failed marriage but he cannot even escape into his dreams for peace. On the other hand, we find Tom Gradgrind who indulges in gambling, alcohol and smoking as "escapes" from his humdrum existence.
And after he commits a crime, his father helps him to escape through Liverpool.
Again, Louisa Gradgrind desires a similar escape from the grind of the Gradgrind system, though she resorts to imagined pictures in the fire rather than a life of petty crime. Finally, "Jem" Harthouse rounds out the options available to the nobility. With all of his life dedicated to leisure, even his work assignment is a sort of past-time from which he easily escapes when the situation has lost its luster. According to "The Great Depression" why were economic conditions in unsustainable? What values are promoted in the character of Stephen Blackpool? Stephen is a poor laborer in one of Josiah Bounderby's factories.
Stephen puts up with a lot in his life and bares it with a humble humility.
The Victorian Education system as presented in Hard Times
Leavis reprehend his novel for having flat and stereotypical characters that seem to be crude caricatures of reality, whereas others applaud him for his socio-economic critique of 19th century England and his amiable characters. In this paper I will show that Dickens strongly criticizes the utilitarian ideas of Jeremy Bentham and his ideological followers through the characters and the plot as well as the stylistic device of repetition.
Gradgrind is so possessed by the idea of hard facts that his life as well as that of his pupils and children are completely encompassed by it, thereby completely neglecting the fancy in life which seems necessary for a human being to thrive. This utilitarian idea of basing absolutely everything on facts and nothing but facts, and the dire consequences of doing so, are thus spread throughout the novel, taking up an important part of it. The focus of the novel on this philosophy of hard facts already becomes clear when we take a look at the lists of possible titles that Dickens gave to his friend John Foster:.
Samuels, Since these were the only titles that Dickens considered at the end, I find it very probable that he wanted to make the critique of Gradgrind and his philosophy of facts the core of his novel. It should then come as no surprise to us that the very first paragraph of Hard Times starts with a, to us at that point still unknown, speaker talking about the importance of facts in the upbringing of kids:.
Now, what I want is, Facts.
Hard Times Themes | GradeSaver
Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. This is because Mr. Gradgrind sees the circus as non-factual therefore he feels it serves no purpose in life.
In comparison to Sissy, Bitzer seems to have a more successful time at school. Bitzer has obviously been at the school longer as he seems to know a lot of facts and the system. On the first impression you think that Bitzer must be very smart but then you realize this information has just been drilled into him and he has learnt the trigger to which he must answer. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth and twelve incisive.
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Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries sheds hoofs too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shad with iron. Dickens describes Bitzer as being pale this may be for the reason that he lives in Coketown, which is an industrial place but this is also on a parallel to the fact that not only is his colour drained from his living in Coketown but his imagination is being drained out of him because of the school he goes to. Whereas Sissy on the other hand still has pink cheeks because she still has her imagination and opinion as her conversation with the school inspector shows.
Also in this time they would call a circus the horse riding which is what you would need to know before reading the book. This is because the book was written years ago. Dickens also likes to use very long sentences and subordinate clauses.
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Dickens is a satirical writer who writes social comments. He is also criticizing utilitarianism, the idea that everything must have a purpose must be proved , and how it is not good for the children.
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Charles Dickens uses a lot of imagery in this book and gives so much detail that if you bothered to you could draw a picture of what he is describing. Dickens uses some of the images throughout the chapters and keeps referring back to the image. This is called an extended metaphor.
This is referring to the children as being little empty jugs that need filling with facts. Another image that Dickens writes is about Mr. Gradgrind being square and canon like.