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Hard Times by Charles Dickens.

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HARD TIMES-CHARLES DICKENS Hard times is a story about how life was during the nineteenth century in the industrial area. This novel investigates the way people thought at the time. Charles Dickens criticizes all those in society who tried to make sense of the world through statistics and facts, he also examines social life, family values and the way children were taught at school. Dickens uses a lot of repetitions, similes and metaphors to engage the reader. Dickens wrote the story three years after the Great Exhibition (This was the biggest exhibition ever that examined the whole Great Britain) Dickens chooses to begin the novel in the classroom, which he depicts as a microcosm of the inhuman world outside. In Dickens, view this classroom has been intentionally created as a factory whose view this classroom has been intentionally created as a factory whose express purpose is to manufacture future workers. The town in ''Hard Times'' is called Coketown, taking its name from the ''Coke'' or treated coal, powering the factories and blackening the town's skies. ...read more.


The schoolmaster himself is insignificant, a worker whose job is to mould the students to the specifications of the industrialist in this factory-like school. ''The speaker, and the schoolmaster, and the third grown person present, all backed a little, and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of little vessels, then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim.'' The image of the students as vessels to be filled makes it clear that they are expected to be passive receptacles of ''Facts poured into them until they were full to the brim'' rather than active learners. The title of this chapter (2)''Murdering the Innocents'' is is a harsh statement of this soulless, fact-based system of education. The children are not being killed bodily; their bodies will be needed to toil in the factories. Only the innocent part of them is being murdered, so that innocence and imagination never get in the way of the way of their imagination never get in the way of their acceptance of the harsh realities of the dreary lives they are soon to face. ...read more.


''Sissy Jupe, sir explained number twenty, blushing, standing up, and curtseying.'' Sissy Jupe's father is part of the travelling circus in town for a short while.''Sissy is not a name'' obviously, Gradgrind hates everything the circus stands for, he advises Sissy to call herself Cecelia. and to refer her father as a ''farrier'' (The person who shoes a horse) or perhaps a ''veterinary surgeon''.Sissy Jupe is a slow learner, among the group of stragglers, who admit that they would dare to carpet a room with representation of flowers because she is ''fond of them''.Sissy is taught that she must not ''fancy'' and that she is ''to be in all things regulated and governed by fact''. In my conclusion I think Dickens makes me (us) aware of his views about education he uses the way pupils are treated in the classroom eg.boys and girls sit separately, also the teachers know the boys names but not the girls and Dickens also uses a lot of metaphors and repetition to engage the reader and also make the reader have sympathy for the characters (Sissy Jupe) and disgust for Mr Gradgrind and a lot of sarcasm for Mr M'choakumchild MAAME PARKER 107 CDO ...read more.

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Related GCSE Hard Times essays

  1. How does Dickens present the education system in Hard Times?

    Dickens suggests that what constitutes so-called fact is a matter of perspective or opinion. The lack of education for children and factory like process of education has resulted to 'vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long' in Coketown.

  2. analysis of hard time by charles dickens

    He always introduces himself as Mr. Gradgrind and spends his time in constant cogitation. He is the Speaker, previously unnamed and he now takes it as his duty to educate the children ("little pitchers before him"). He identifies a student, called Girl number twenty, who replies that her name is Sissy Jupe.

  1. Title: How does Dickens present the education system in Hard Times?

    Gradgrind tries to see everything as fact and therefore being regardless of what you're at home, said: 'Sissy is not a name. Don't call yourself Sissy. Call yourself Cecilia.' He doesn't see the name Sissy as fact and decides to call her 'girl number twenty' because it sounds serious and fact like.

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

    This suggests that Mr. M'Choakumchild is a product of the same schooling system that he is making his pupils endure and also that all teachers at that time were all made en masse and that they were all taught the same teaching methods and style.

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

    The children are treated as products and are conversed to by numbers. The system aims to avoid personality (the 'naming system' is a good example of this) and individuality, which is frowned upon, considered as a threat to Gradgrind's extreme control.

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

    In 'Hard Times' Dickens uses a lots of different types of language. He uses repetition, extended metaphors, multiple adjectives, archaic language and personification. Quite a lot of repetition is used; the word 'fact' is repeated. This helps to emphasise that fact is the only thing considered important.

  1. The purpose of this essay is to describe the characters of Mr. Thomas Gradgrind ...

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  2. Look carefully at the first four chapters of "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens and ...

    This quote suggests that the young children have empty minds which are ready to be filled to the brim with cold hard facts. A constant emphasis which is laid down in the first 4 chapters. This quote sums up Gradgrind's rationalist philosophy on education, in claiming that nothing else will ever be of service to his students.

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