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

'Hard Times' by Charles Dickens.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lemise Elsden 'Hard Times' by Charles Dickens There are many themes within the book 'Hard Times' By Charles Dickens. These themes vary from education to wealth, work, leisure, morality, poverty, class and fact verses fancy. The main theme in the play, I believe, is family and it is on this theme that this essay will be based. Family is mentioned constantly through out the book, for example Cecilia Jupe ends up going to live with Mr Thomas Gradgrind and his family when her father goes out one day and never returns. In the book there are four main families each with there own set ways of life. The first and main family are the Gradgrinds. This family consists of Mr. Gradgrind, Mrs. Gradgrind and their five children. Mr Gradgrind has a 'square wall of a forehead.... square coat.... square legs.... square shoulders' and an 'obstinate carriage'. ...read more.

Middle

With a 'great puffed head and forehead, swelled veins in his temples and such a strained skin to his face that it seemed to hold his eyes open and lift his eyebrows'. Mrs Sparsit, a widow, was elderly lady with a 'Coriolonian style of nose' and 'dense black eyebrows' and was a prominent figure. Although she is Bounderby's housekeeper she is of a much higher social class than he is. The only reason she works for Bounderby is because when her husband died he left her deeply in debt and she did not want to rely on her only family, an elderly aunt. 'It is true, Sir,' returned Mrs Sparsit, with an affectation of humility the very opposite of his, and therefore in no danger of jostling it.' Bounderby takes great pleasure in the fact that he has a housekeeper that is above him in status, as he himself claims to have started life in the gutter (literally) ...read more.

Conclusion

You do not have the opportunity of seeing this family together as one of the first things you are told about Sissy's father is that he has disappeared and left Sissy on her own, 'I doubt you will ever see him now. It's pretty plain to me, he's off'. Because of this Sissy then has to decide whether to stay with her second 'family' the circus or to go and live with Mr Gradgrind and carry on her education. Sissy's father had especially wanted her to go to school so she could better herself and it was because of her father's wishes that she chooses to go with Gradgrind. There is one condition she has to follow though and that is that while she is living under Gradgrind's roof she must not visit the circus people or have any contact with them. Little does Gradgrind know, but once Sissy moves in with him his family life will change, in his opinion for the worse but in actual fact as he later finds out it was for the better. ...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. 'Discuss the theme of education in Hard Times'.

    Dickens feared that the factory system, geared only to productivity and profit, was reducing people to mere machines-like entities, devoid of feeling and imagination. This is explored in Dickens' description of Gradgrind's school where 'fancy' is outlawed, where children are referred to as 'reasonable animals' and 'little pitchers' to be filled up with 'facts', and identified by numbers.

  2. Hard Times - Charles Dickens: 'Discuss the theme of education in Hard Times'

    If the early influences were good and wholesome the results would meet with approval and acceptance by society. If the early influences were bad then the outcome would be disastrous. Dickens uses this notion in the opening chapter of Hard Times in the educational environment he provides in the classroom.

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

    The concept of Tom and Louisa watching the circus even at this early point in the novel is a suggestion to the reader of a divide between Gradgrind and his children, Gradgrind and his obsession with fact and his belief that his children who have been raised with fact alone

  2. Hard Times Essay

    prepares them for a life of working in the drab factories of Coketown. Dickens does not really encounter education for children in poverty in this book. Dickens's view on the education system and schools is that they are where any trace of imagination and wonder are extracted from the children, and replaced by pure facts.

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

    He is a veterinary surgeon..." Gradgrind's control is so strong that the lies he tells are believed and become facts. Sissy has grown up in the circus, where play and imagination are encouraged. It is an environment that fosters emotions and compassionate behaviour and an environment that is free and unrestricted.

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

    There is also quite a lot of technical language that is not in common usage today e.g. "orthography" and "etymology" Personification is not used very often in the opening two chapters because personification uses a lot of imagination and imagination has no place in the school.

  1. Discuss the theme of education in ‘Hard Times’ and a ‘Kestrel for a Knave’.

    The books is started the way it is to show the reader immediately how reliant on facts the education is. It is opened mid conversation on the topic of facts, "Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts. facts alone are wanted in life."

  2. analysis of hard time by charles dickens

    to whom Dickens alludes. The speaker demands power without the benevolence, patience or sacrifice that is expected of the role. The speaker is instructing the schoolteacher on how to instruct and this adds to the irony and deliberate confusion of the short scene.

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