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GCSE: Hard Times
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Dickens repeats the word 'Facts' throughout the opening paragraph. He has done this to get the idea across to the Victorian reader. The idea that facts are all that is needed, and all Gradgrind is dependent on. In the novel children are referred as animals! "You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon facts." This quote shows how the teachers feel about the children, they think they are worthless and do not deserve to be treated in a humane manor.
- Word count: 831
However, when Bitzer speaks, he defines the horse like a dictionary. This tells us immediately that Bitzer has learnt definitions, giving the impression of a studious pupil. He gives exactly what is required of him by his teacher. Also, Bitzer's name is like the name of a horse. This is ironic and adds to the sense of the pupils being like animals; required to learn these "facts." Sissy Jupe is the first girl mentioned in the novel. Previously, all the men have been very strict and authoritarian. When Gradrgrind first refers to her, he calls her "Girl number twenty."
- Word count: 653
Dickens uses this device, repetition, to emphasize a specific point. The speaker says; 'Facts alone are wanted in life'. This implies his opinions and views are very fixed and he is not open minded. This also connotes he is not open to new concepts and change. He highlights this point by saying; 'Stick to facts, sir'. He says this to the schoolmaster, advising him and almost to instruct him to do as he says. Dickens describes the school room as; 'plain', 'bare' and 'monotonous'. This gives the connotations of boredom and a stereotypical lecture theatre in a school. The word 'monotonous' would imply the room having little decoration, being unelaborated.
- Word count: 796
Explore how Dickens presents the theme of education in the first two chapters of Hard Times. What point might he be making about the educational system of his day?
The capitalisation of "Facts" by Dickens shows us that they are revered by Gradgrind at an almost godly level. His figure is mocked: "the speaker's square wall of a forehead" showing his forehead as a block, flat and plain; and "commodious cellarage in two dark caves, overshadowed by the wall" suggests that his eyes are set back and are obscured by his brow. Dickens uses tricolons to further exaggerate his tone and appearance; "the speaker's mouth was wide, thin, and hard set", "the speaker's voice, which was inflexible, dry, and dictatorial". This creates the impression that Gradgrind's character is drab and dreary, and thus his company will be tedious and monotonous too.
- Word count: 818
Gradgrind's view on education was opinions aren't wanted and to be successful in life all you need are facts. Gradgrind say's "what I want is facts." Tom and Louisa are brought up on facts. They don't socialize or go out and see what happens outside of the house. They are lonely children. They want to see what happens outside the house so they go out to the circus that comes to their town. Where they see Sissy. Gradgrind cannot believe it!
- Word count: 661
The educators insist on teaching fact and pluck all the opinion from the tiny fragile minds that can be so easily moulded into fact filled objects. They scoop out every little fragment of imagination, not leaving the smallest detail to spare and replace it with fact, fact, fact, until they are over spilling with them. As if when filling an empty money box with pennies until it is full to the brim and over flowing, and when you take off the lid they all pour out, one after the other, penny after penny, fact after fact.
- Word count: 758
, Dickens exaggerates the description of the narrator speaking. I believe this because in the opening of the paragraph it says, "teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts are alone are wanted in life... you can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts." This automatically shows the reader that "facts" are important to the narrator because the word "facts" has a capital letter many times this emphasis the word. This also shows that the narrator is speaking to another person, which could be a teacher because the word "teach" is normally a job for teachers or parents.
- Word count: 876
This means that it's the greatest good for the greatest number. This could be the reason as to why she is emotionally repressed, where she is unable to recognize or express her emotions: 'As he now leaned back in his chair, and bent his deep-set eyes upon her in his turn, perhaps he might have seen one wavering moment in her, when she was impelled to throw herself upon his breast, and give her the pent-up confidence of her heart.' It can be said therefore, that Louisa does not embody the idea of Victorian femininity (sensitivity, compassion and gentleness).
- Word count: 889
It also is criticising Utilitarians and Mr Gradgrind through the use of dramatic irony in the sense that we see that Loo yearns to talk to her father but he doesn't and we are criticising his inability to see it. The barriers being set up are metaphorical barriers he has put between himself and his daughter emotionally to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The barriers are themselves blocking out 'subtle essences of humanity' with reference to fancy.
- Word count: 915
Dickens' view of the conflict of Fact and Fancy in children's education. When Dickens was a very young child, he would think about anything a normal child would think about
This also relates to the title of the chapter, 'Murdering the Innocents' Thomas Gradgrind also numbers his pupils, "Girl number twenty" like machinery, computer 1 and computer 2.Again, Dickens shows how Gradgrind's style of education turns the children into an object rater than a person by giving them numbers. At the end of Chapter 1 he referred to the children as vessels "then and they're arranged in order," he must have been referring to this numbering system. In modern times in the army, a solider in training is referred to as a "jarhead", an empty "vessel" that is filled only with useful information (fact)
- Word count: 635
Charles Dickens wrote the novel 'Hard Times' in 1854. This novel expresses the extremity to which the children where under valued, especially women who were abused and used to attend to men's needs
Hoof hard but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth." This is how all knowledge was known and taught. In this novel there is a lot of lying and deceit, they use this only to benefit them selves and not others. The people of this time are selfish especially the men who treat women as lower class citizens. Hard Times is an example of Dickens's concern for social issues, but also his feelings in regard to the soul of the nation and how it was being affected by the industrial age.
- Word count: 754
People need to think of things in a broader context, the way the character Sissy does in the book, with an open, free sprit than even Grandgrind finds he likes as Sissy grows older. However when we first meet Sissy and when we follow her progress through the first book, he throws her logical answers down, as they are not "factual" enough. Another point of his time that Dickens portrays in a bad light is that of the working environment for the "hands".
- Word count: 911
Through close analysis of the first two chapters of Hard Times, explore Dickens' attitude towards education
'Now what I want is, Facts', this is our first insight into the school's basic principal, Fact. The first indication we get, to the importance of facts is that it is given a capital letter, 'Fact', this gives it emphasis, signifying its value to the school's manifesto. 'Plant nothing else, and root out everything else.....nothing else will ever be of any service to them' this exemplifies the school's education policy in just a few words. Gradgrind bases knowledge and understanding on mere fact, obliterating any other idea of perception.
- Word count: 847
"With careful attention to 2-3 episodes in Hard Times, show how Dickens presents and criticises the Gradgrindian view of education".
"I was born with inflammation of the lungs, and of everything else... everybody of all ages knocked me about and starved me". Mr Bounderby is not as demanding but boastful and more extreme about his view and how he grew up. This gives a perfect team to run the system of education. From the irony and exaggeration used in the description of both the two leaders way of looking at the school children "looking into all the little vessels ranged before him, on after another, to see what thy contained" it seams that this view will cause problems as the children grow old as they will become factual pages of a book.
- Word count: 726
It is modelled on Manchester, England, one of the most notoriously unliveable factory cities of the time. Education in coketown is a process by which innocence and imagination are rooted out of the children so they will grow up into soulless Human Beings who know nothing but fact. Dickens is a master at using overstatement to make a point, but the coketown schoolroom is drawn form fact than fancy. It is based on a type of schooling referred to either as the Monitorial System or as the Lancastrian System after its originator, a London teacher named Joseph Lancaster.
- Word count: 967
His wife is a drunkard and keeps leaving and them coming back he paid her to go and during the novel she comes back and that's where his life takes a migration south because he is in love with some one else. Part way through the novel he goes to see Mr Bounderby for advice on how he might be able to get rid of he and during their convocation Stephan starts to lose hope. "If I do her any hurt, Sir there's a law to punish me?
- Word count: 685
She was taught nothing but facts because her father did not think she needed imagination or fancy. This has made her unable to express her emotions and ignorant of how to act in relationships, she seems almost dead inside and is described as having "Jaded sullenness." Dickens also states that she "Would have been self- willed... but for her upbringing" which I think is how Dickens generally tries to bring her across throughout the book and that her upbringing had a huge impact on her and affected her very strongly. When we are first introduced to Louisa she is peeking in at the circus, "what did he behold but his own metallurgical Louisa, peeping with all her might through a hole in the deal board."
- Word count: 931
Hard Times" is a novel concerned to shake some people in the terrible mistake of these days" What targets do you think Dickens is attacking in "Hard Times" and how does he achieve this?
One of the teachers is known as "Mr M'Choakumchild", another attempt by Dickens to satirise the education system by saying that the children are choked by fact. There is irony in comically referring to the fairy tale Forty Thieves to compare with the regimented education system keen to disregard and destroy fancy. The children are described as "little vessels ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim", showing how the education they are to be given is very emotionless, they are simply machines in the process.
- Word count: 943
Hard Times - How does Dickens present the character of Harthouse and what is his role in the novel as a whole?
Throughout Book 2- The Reaping, it seems as though Harthouse's role is to represent the jaded upper classes, and to become closer to Louisa, and he sneakily tries to accomplish this by manipulating Tom, Louisa's brother, as he sees that Tom is the only one Louisa really deeply cares for. He toys with people's emotions and disregards their feelings in favour of his own fancy. These actions probably stem from his need for accomplishment, a need that he satisfies by manipulating people wherever he sees the opportunity.
- Word count: 649
She is introduced as this 'elderly lady that presided over his establishment'. Mrs Sparsit speaks of her hardship to Bounderby in the hope that he will understand because he speaks about being so hard done by in the past by his mother. Mrs Sparsit can relate to Bounderby and that's why she is so drawn to him in the novel, also because they are the same age she feels even closer to him. Mrs Sparsit is quite insignificant in the first Book but she placed there because she objects so much to Bounderby's marriage proposal to Louisa.
- Word count: 887
Socialists have objected to the mildness of his criticism of capitalism, as well as to his refusal to join the union. In his second scene with Bounderby, in Book II Chapter 5, he lays responsibility for reform on the employers, and here once again he says that society is "a muddle". "Muddle", always stubbornly repeated, is characteristic of Stephen's slow, unbending outlook of the world.
- Word count: 760
In ‘Hard Times’ Dickens presents various characters reactions to members of different social groups - How do you respond to his presentation?
The circus people's reaction to Bounderby and Gradgrind is one of aggression, although we feel they behave in the correct manner and understand their anger towards the discourteous behaviour of Bounderby. We sense Gradgrinds disapproval of the circus when he catches Louisa and Tom peeping through the loophole at the circus people and describes it as a 'degraded position.' This shows how he feels the circus is somewhat inferior to him by looking down on it. Dickens' portrayal of these particular characters allows us to empathize with the circus people in contrast to the middle class.
- Word count: 783
With Detailed References to two Conversations or Incidents from 'Hard Times' Examine how Effectively Dickens Presents the Character of 'Louisa' in his novel.
And also because she doesn't like Mr. Bounderby and only seems him as a friend of his fathers and a businessman. I think that she agrees to marry Mr. Bounderby because she does it for her brother because Tom wants a job at his bank and will go a long way in the bank if she is married to Mr. Bounderby. Mr. Gradgrind when he tells Louisa about the proposal of marriage he tries to make it into just another fact for her to tackle ' I would advise you to consider this question, as one of tangible fact' he
- Word count: 842
Thomas Gradgrind is a man of no imagination as he only believes in fact, in his school fancy is not tolerated and education rules supreme. Even in his home and with his children Gradgrind believes in ruling and teaching with an iron fist of fact. In Gradgrind's opinion, to submit to fancy is as bad as committing a crime. Not only is Gradgrind as a whole an inflexible man but the place he lived, Coketown, was also the same.
- Word count: 482
Mr Gradgrind has a 'square wall of a forehead.... square coat.... square legs.... square shoulders' and an 'obstinate carriage'. Mrs Gradgrind is a 'little, thin, white, pink eyed bundle of shawls, of surpassing feebleness, mental and physical'. Each little Gradgrind was a model student and a child of fact, each taught that to learn was the object of life. The second family who also feature a lot in the book are not really a family but a man and his housekeeper, Mr Bounderby and Mrs Sparsit. Although they are not related Mrs Sparsit is almost like a wife or mother to Mr Bounderby.
- Word count: 839