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

Charles Dickens wrote Hard Times in 1854, it was a political novel used to portray the situation in the Victorian times. The main issues in the novel are education, imagination, the Industrial Revolution and the void between the social classes.

Extracts from this document...


Charles Dickens wrote Hard Times in 1854, it was a political novel used to portray the situation in the Victorian times. The main issues in the novel are education, imagination, the Industrial Revolution and the void between the social classes. He uses the story to tell people his feelings on the situation, by using different groups of people to show the difference between social classes. The situation he portrays shows that the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer, with the combined effort from the industrial revolution, this made the country economically spiral out of control. This was because the rich were taking advantage of the fact that the poor were getting poorer. So the poor needed to get money from any way, shape, or form, so the rich were hiring them, and paying them pittance, this ended up turned the country into economic chaos. Dickens starts the novel off by starting in the school with the teacher Mr. Gradgrind, at the front of the class. The name Gradgrind gives the reader the image put into their heads of what he might look like I thought that he takes the children in and grinds them down. The school is described as 'plain, bare, a monotonous vault of a schoolroom,' which gives the image that the school is like the inside of a prison. At the start Gradgrind is bombarded with huge amounts of imagery and similes from Dickens, 'his head covered with knobs, like the crust of a plum pie,' 'page 2'. ...read more.


This was because of the way that she was raised, the way she has no personality. The only reason that that she married Bounderby was because she thought there was nothing left to live for in her life and said, 'there is no pain in living and married Bounderby'. Tom is seen as weak, selfish and nasty and often known as a "whelp" Tom blames it all on his upbringing and he would have a different personality if his up bringing was more light-hearted and not so factual. Tom main worst act of selfishness was when Tom robbed the bank and had Stephen stand out side it so he was seen to be the main suspect. Even when his sister Louisa tries to help him out from his gambling debt he just shouts abuse at her, saying that she should have been there when she was needed the most. All of this shows Tom to be very selfish and uncaring to the people around him he is closest to. When the circus are first introduced they are portrayed by Dickens to be as colourful,' golden stars stuck all over him.' Made to seem as if they are just ordinary people, "ith it the intenthion to do anything for the poor girl Thquire," Sleary is given a lisp to make the circus people sound like more ordinary people. When Gradgrind and Bounderby come and talk to Sleary, Sleary takes an immediate dislike to Bounderby and almost ignoring every thing Bounderby has to say. ...read more.


The fact that Tom was helped by the circus to escape, is ironic in some ways because of the way that lower class people, were willing to help out the upper class people, but the upper class people were never willing to help the lower class people, this might in someway shows that imagination has achieved what factual learning never could. Therefore, I draw to my conclusion is that Gradgrind's family were in the novel to represent the richer class of England and the circus was the poor. The way the circus people were described made them seem fictional (almost too good to be real). People from Gradgrind's house were as unrealistic as the circus people but had the more authentic points to them. Charles Dickens had clearly set out to portray his feelings on the country, he had gone at it full force with his point at the hope when people read his novel they could see just what was going on. He is tying to say that he wants to see changes in the modern society, like the poor being treated as equals to the rich and the rich to stop taking advantage to the situation of the Victorian times. In the end it is seen as a small triumph for the richer classes in the story because Gradgrind final realises how wrong he was and starts to make a change in the way he lived. Dickens hoped that the upper classes would follow his examples. Charles Dickens Hard Times Compare the way Dickens presents Mr. Gradgrind and the Circus people in Hard Times by: Scott Eastwood 1 ...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. Analysis of page 1 'Hard Times'

    The school room is illustrated as a; 'vault' this would suggest that the school had certain similarities to a prison or a cell. After this he uses a metaphor device to describe the school room; 'monotonous vault of a school room'.

  2. Hard Times - How does Dickens present the character of Harthouse and what is ...

    Tom is his leverage. It is these types of qualities that make Harthouse a complex, believable character. The way in which Harthouse manipulates Tom, shows how sly his character is, he pretends to befriend Tom, and in doing this implies that Tom can trust him, when clearly he cannot.

  1. "In Hard Times Dickens presents a convincing analysis of the social problems that have ...

    Gradgrind looks on them almost as an infectious disease. " 'That's it! You are never to fancy.'... 'Fact, fact, fact!' said the gentleman. And 'Fact, fact, fact!' repeated Thomas Gradgrind This method of teaching however is the cause of many of the serious problems that develop in Gradgrind's life.

  2. Hard Times(TM) is a social satire which explores the ills of an Industrial Victorian ...

    However, Bitzer who describes it as 'quadruped, gramnivourous, forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four - eyeteeth and twelve incisive'. As the novel spins out of control of all of the characters, we can see more clearly the characters that Dickens wants us to feel disconnected from; we feel disengaged with

  1. The purpose of this essay is to consider what role the circus folk play ...

    only the best for Sissy, in Gradgrind's case he wants to protect Tom although he knows that what he has done is illegal and that he should face the courts. Gradgrind is now in a position where if he were to stay with fact and fact alone then he would

  2. Hard Times - explore several issues from Dickenss point of view on Victorian Society, ...

    Dickens has used this phrase to describe Mr Gradgrind, and it is a very effective phrase because it creates an image in our heads of how demanding he is and how obsessed with facts he is. Mr Gradgrind thinks his way of educating is excellent but really, he is destroying

  1. Does Charles Dickens Show Affection To The Working Classes Of Victorian England In Hard ...

    yet he treats him with respect even though that is the last thing he deserves. Blackpool is a man of realities, even though others are perceived as this in the novel he is the only actual person that is. He is a man of realities in the sense that he

  2. How does Dickens present his negative views on education in Victorian society?

    This is the first mention of monotony which intertwines with the constant drone of facts that the school master teaches. The idea of a room being plain and bare also relates to the monotony with no fancy about them.

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