• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Charles Dickens, Hard times.

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hard Times section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Hard Times essays

  1. By the end of Book 1, Dickens's criticism of Gradgrind's utilitarian thinking is apparent. ...

    It suggests a darker side to the mechanism, on top of the good for the richer people. This echoes the fact that even though the model school is churning out many "model" pupils who fit Gradgrind's ideal human, it also produces people like Louisa, who feel suppressed and don't know how to handle their foreign emotions.

  2. Key Question: How does Charles Dickens show his dislike of the education system in ...

    Similarly, in the first chapter, the anonymity of the Speaker and children arouses the reader's curiosity but it also helps Dickens to focus on the describing the appearance of the speaker, making his dislike clear through the description of the characters.

  1. Y10 English Literature Coursework

    Dickens then describes Gradgrinds 'the speaker's square forefinger.' Anything that is square is usually hard and rigid. A square is opposite to a circle and describes people who are out of the times, in others words, old-fashioned. From this, the new repetition word is 'sqaure'.

  2. Hard times Coursework

    even acquaintances, and can only turn to Tom- her brother for advice and comfort, and they pull through the earlier years with only each other Later in the story she is forced into a greatly unequal marriage with Josiah Bounderby. Whose unhealthy concern with Louisa creates a few raised eyebrows.

  1. Compare and contrast the way in which particular aspects of education are presented in ...

    childish imagination is utterly discouraged...where I have never seen among pupils anything but little parrots and small calculating machines." It seems that even though Dickens is portrayed as a realist, he still believes children should be taught the arts (perhaps not too surprising as he is a writer of fiction).

  2. Hard Times Essay

    The education the children are receiving is not helping them to develop a creative mind with ambition for jobs in high up places. No, the education the children are receiving is based on facts and nothing but. This kind of education does not prepare them for the real world; it

  1. Comparing similarities in 'Hard Times' by Charles Dickens and 'The Star' by Alasdair Gray.

    The name of each chapter and the first book come from extracts from different part of the bible. "Book the first. Sowing" refers to Galatians 6:7, the bible extract is: "For what ever a man soweth, that he shall also reap" This establishes a religious link.

  2. Explain how the theme of education is presented in Hard Times. What comments do ...

    In Dickens's caricature of Gradgrind he is representing a society in which emotions and personal feelings don't matter and all that matters is work and production rate. Gradgrind champions this utilitarian style system, he seems to represent all that Dickens felt was evil because he thought that Gradgrind was a

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work