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Hard Times by Charles Dickens - How he mocked the educational system in the 1900's.

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Introduction

Hard Times by Charles Dickens - How he mocked the educational system in the 1900's TASK: What literary techniques does Charles Dickens employ in order to satirise the educational system of Victorian England in the opening chapters of 'Hard Times' The main literary techniques used by Charles Dickens is his use of exaggeration throughout the extract. Dickens exaggerates the names of the characters and the description of the characters to the point of ridiculousness. In doing this Dickens makes the opening of the novel stupidly hilarious getting the reader hooked into the novel making them read on for example "the speakers hair, which bristled on the skirts of his bald head, a plantation of firs to keep the wind from it's shining surface, all covered with knobs, like the crust of a plum pie". Dickens is trying to make the point that the educational system in the victorian time is wrong and dangerous for example "this is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle I bring up these children. ...read more.

Middle

Which is both very exaggerated and hilariously stupid. Also Dickens uses titles to exaggerate the novel for example "murdering the innocents" which really means murdering the children. They aren't really going to murder the children but I think that Dickens is trying to get across the point that the teachers are destroying them into lifeless children. All in all Dickens uses all these ridiculous, absurd and over the top exaggerations of descriptions and behaviors of the teachers to satirise and mock the education system of Victorian England Another literary technique that Dickens uses is the use of metaphors and uses it throughout the extract, "he seemed a kind of cannon loaded to the muzzle with facts, and prepared to blow them out of the regions of childhood at one discharge". I think this is a great metaphor because it's really imaginative, you can almost imagine the teacher firing facts into the children destroying there lives". Another great metaphor is the comparison of the children to a pitcher. This is very clever because the children are like a jug and the teachers have to fill the jug right up to the top with facts. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unlike Bitzer however is described as being " lighet-eyed and light-haired that the selfsame rays of light appeared to draw out of him what little colour he ever possessed". Bitzer is described like this to emphasizes that he has no colour or life because he is "educated". Dickens has put this in to be very ironic because what he is trying to get across is the fact that if you have been educated in Victorian time you would have no life or personality At the end of chapter two, Dickens finishes it off with his own comment "If he had learnt a little less,how infinitely better he might have taught much more" This statement rounds up most of the points he tying to get across to the reader that If you get this child and you fill it up to the top with facts you will destroy all other feelings and personality. They'll never be the same after they have been educated, and that if this kind of teaching continues it will be damaging for society because the schools are getting paid to teach more facts which is not only wrong, it is criminally wrong! DANIEL RODBERG ...read more.

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