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How does Dickens introduce and mock the main objects of his satire in the first two chapters of his novel Hard Times?

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How does Dickens introduce and mock the main objects of his satire in the first two chapters of his novel "Hard Times"? Charles dickens novel "Hard Times" was written in 1854 during the Victorian Era. Charles Dickens was born 7th February 1812 Portsmouth, England. He died 9th June 1870 aged 58. Before his father's arrest, the 12 year old Dickens had started working ten hours a day at Warren's blacking warehouse. This meant that Dickens had to grow up quickly. The terrible conditions of the workers mostly, the children made a deep impression on dickens. His experiences influenced Dicks to write the novel "Hard Times". The Victorian era of the United Kingdom was the period of Queen Victorians rule from June 1837 to January 1901. Utilitarianism influenced Victorian society greatly. Utilitarianism meant the management of people according to facts and figures would lead to the greatest good for all. Dickens believed that utilitarianism lead to the crushing of imagination and was at the heart of England's problems. Dickens expresses his anger towards utilitarianism by using satire to ridicule it. Satire was a literacy technique whereby the flaws of an individual are exposed through the use of ridicule, irony, and sarcasm. Dickens uses thee technique to expose everything wrong with utilitarianism. The central theme of the novel "Hard Times" is an attack on utilitarianism. ...read more.


Gradgrind insults and mocks Sissy by insulting her name and her dad "Sissy is not a name, said Mr Gradgrind." This shows that Gradgrind does not accept the name that was given to Sissy by her farther. "Don't call yourself Sissy", "call yourself Cecilia." This suggests that Gradgrind is mocking Sissy. Gradgrind also insults Sissy's farther by asking her "what is your father?" this suggest that Gradgrind doesn't approve of Sissy's father. Dickens Criticises Gradgrind's approach to education through the use of a metaphor. The use of "little vessels" suggests that Gradgrind saw the students as objects not humans. "Little vessels ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them". This suggests that the children were compared to empty containers waiting to be filled up with facts this also suggests that the children's heads were empty and ready to be filled with facts up to the brim. It also suggests that the minds of the students will be so full of facts that there will be no room for imagination. The use of "imperial gallons" a metric measurement, highlights that everything needed to be precise and exact. It also emphasizes the sheer number of facts that had to be taught at the school. Dickens uses satire to mock Bitzer because he didn't know what a hoarse really was he was only able to repeat a number of facts. ...read more.


This also suggests that his life was driven by facts. It also suggests that his life had been controlled by utilitarianism. Dickens describes M'choakumchild, as the classroom room teacher and as a man with too many facts. "Ah rather overdone, M'choakumchild. This suggests that if his was not driven by facts he would have taught better. Dickens decides to use the story of Morgiana and the forty thieves to illustrate how students were filled up with facts. M'choakumchild was also filled with facts "if he had only learnt better he might have taught much more!" this suggests that if M'choakumchild had not learnt so many facts, he would have taught much better. Dickens uses the long list to show the reader how M'choakumchild had taken all the subjects and turned them into facts. "Had taken the bloom off the higher branches of Mathematics and, Physical Science, French, German, Latin, and Greek." This shows that M'choakumchild had stopped these subjects from being exciting. Dickens uses M'choakumchild's character to mock utilitarianism by showing how someone filled with facts is useless in a classroom. Overall Dickens uses satire to mock Utilitarianism. He uses the character of Gradgrind and M'choakumchild to show how ridiculous it was. He uses Sissy to show how creativeness is destroyed by utilitarianism. Dickens uses the first chapter to show how appalling it was in schools because it destroyed student's imagination. Dickens encourages the reader to understand that the principles of utilitarianism destroyed the minds of children because the children were filled up with facts. ...read more.

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