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Charles Dickens, Hard times.

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GCSE Coursework Essay Charles Dickens, Hard Times In this novel by Charles Dickens I will be studying the ways in which two characters change throughout the novel. The two characters that I'm going to look at have changed significantly by the end or towards the end of the novel, compared to their character at the beginning. These people are Sir Thomas Gradgrind (the main character) and his daughter, Louisa. The change in these two characters is important because it also embodies the theme of the novel, that is change. Firstly I'm going to look at Louisa, whose character really opens up as the novel moves on. At the beginning she acted a lot as if she was just 'another product' of her father's upbringing (something I'll also come on to when I look at Mr. Gradgrind). Due to this, she is possibly even more utilitarian than he is. This means that it's the greatest good for the greatest number. ...read more.


However, later on there's an obvious change in the character of Louisa, as she suddenly becomes much more emotional and is able to express her feelings. This could be because of the breakdown of her marriage to Mr Bounderby, or because of Sissy, whose character is quite the opposite of Louisa's character at the beginning: 'A dull anger that she should be seen in her distress, and at hat the involuntary look she had so resented should come to this fulfillment, smoldered within her like an unwholesome fire............As she softened with the quiet, and the consciousness of being so watched, some tears made their way into her eyes.' Louisa knows that she's changed and knows that it's been Sissy who's made her change her character. As she's talking to her, we see Louisa express all of these emotions that have been inside her just waiting to come out: 'I an so proud and so hardened, so confused and troubled, so resentful and unjust to everyone and to myself'. ...read more.


Gradgrind was before he changed, and to give an idea as to how he brought up Louisa as a child: 'I am happy to say, so much justice to the education you have received, that I have perfect confidence in your good sense. You are not impulsive, you are not romantic...' This quote I took was from when Mr. Gradgrind was talking to Louisa about the proposed marriage to Mr. Bounderby. Louisa then asks a simple question with which he then grew quite uncomfortable. This shows that he isn't close to his children, either. His change, however, that happens as the novel progresses, is most noticeable when he and Mr. Bounderby have a long conversation about education: ''Now look you here, Tom Gradgrind,' said Bounderby the flushed, confronting him with his legs wide apart, his hands deeper in his pockets...'This shows his new vulnerability, how Mr Bounderby is the one now commanding the conversation. As we can see from what I have just been discussing, it is clear that the character and change is linked together and is also one of if not the most important theme in the novel. ...read more.

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