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The comparison of Dickens' treatment of two schoolmasters in David Copperfield and Hard times.

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Introduction

The comparison of Dickens' treatment of two schoolmasters in David Copperfield and Hard times Both stories are of two schoolmasters who seem to enjoy inflicting pain of some sort to their pupil, whether it is verbal or physical. The names of the schoolmasters, Gradgrind and Creakle, suggest association with unpleasantness, such as the belief in hard labour. The name Gradgrind contains the word grind, which is related to pain and hard work therefore emphasises the spitefulness of such a man. The alliteration of the letter 'G', which is a hard letter, is found throughout the passage. This gives a sense of his presence continuously around and that his unpleasantness is remembered by everyone because of this permanent attendance. The name Creakle suggests old age and the onomatopoeia, of his name 'creak', stresses this idea of old age. Creaking again implies how terrifying he is as when an old house creaks it becomes a frightening place to be in. This is also seen in his presence as he scares the children due to him being around them; it also proposes that Creakle has not forgotten a previous regime in which he was under and that he believes that all children should be under this regime as well. Of the places in which both are found their surroundings are similar to their appearances and ideas. The area in which Creakle is shown is described to be 'forlorn', 'desolate' and 'dirty'. ...read more.

Middle

This backs up the point of the word 'grind'; as to fill the 'little pitchers' with 'Facts' he would have to work hard and the children would have to also go through hard labour. The violence of Gradgrind's wish was that to 'blow them clean out of the regions of childhood'; therefore to fill them with facts would be to aid them away from childhood. Gradgrind wanted all the pupils at the school to become 'models' such as his own children; he had been able to teach his children in his dry and unimaginative style since their 'tenderest years' and this is how he wanted all children to be. The narrator repeats the words 'models' and 'lectured at'; these repetitions are of disgust and negativity towards the 'little Gradgrind', which also recur in this part of the book. This is due to the 'little Gradgrind' never having the knowledge of childhood and this negativity may be due to the narrator feeling sorry for them and angry with Gradgrind because of his behaviour to them. Creakle's way of teaching is that he speaks in a whisper; this could be to make him come across as more sinister than he already has emerged. It also speaks of Creakle's 'ferocious games' this again increases his sadistic appearance and that he scares the children into learning or following his instructions. ...read more.

Conclusion

The way in which Gradgrind tells off his children is of a monotonous way, as is everything that he seems to do, again we see the repetition this implies that Gradgrind is continuously boring. Gradgrind's lack of ability to see the potential of his children is shown, as 'he saw nothing of it.' However the difference between Gradgrind and Creakle is that in fact Gradgrind believes in education and that the kind of education he believes in is one that people find hard to understand. Gradgrind, although comes across as an aggressor, he also appears that he is sincere in the desires for his pupils improvement in education. Creakle however is not so much interested in the education but in fact in humiliating his pupils. Creakle incessantly inflicts pain on his pupils by teasing them, as he normally teases the fatter children; they are also put in unpleasant overtones to make the insults even more degrading. Overall Gradgrind is a much more pleasant person than Creakle, the only problem is that his teaching methods are greatly unappealing and this suggests that he is an unkind and monotonous teacher. He wants what is best for his children and this is why he refuses to allow his children to come into contact with childish things. All he wants for them is to succeed in life and become successful. The only person who Creakle cares about is himself and this why he spends his time insulting the children of his school as does not care for their welfare. B.Southerst ...read more.

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