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Hard Times is a novel written by Charles dickens

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Hard Times Hard Times is a novel written by Charles dickens at the time of the industrial revolution. It is set in the nineteenth century in England. It is Dickens' harsh and satirical attack on the industrial and educational systems of his time. Dickens believed in good fellowship and community values, which he felt were being destroyed by this new system based purely on 'fact'. In the novel Dickens uses satire, humour, irony and symbolism to convey is vision and show the world what he thinks it should be like. This novel, set in a place called Coketown, England, is showing how English people live in a very harsh place. The characters in the novel include both good and bad people. Throughout this novel Dickens attacks the industrial and educational systems using satire and humour. He uses such techniques to poke fun out of them. He also uses irony, such as in the name Stephen Blackpool who at the end of the novel dies in a black pool. ...read more.


She doesn't marry him out of love but for the sake of her brother Tom Gradgrind. Tom Gradgrind is the son of Thomas Gradgrind. Tom is dependent on his sister Louisa a lot as he needs help to fuel his gambling habits. Throughout his life the educational system along with his father dehumanises him. Near the end of the novel the bank is robbed and Louisa fears that Tom had robbed it. She knew he was in debt and believed he did it as he worked there for Mr Bounderby. Bitzer is a model pupil of this so-called educational system. The system is so dehumanising that he thinks and acts more like a robot than a human. He has no imagination at all and as he gets older he gets more and more selfish. He has no sensitivity and no communal concern for others. He is the complete opposite of Sissy Jupe. Mr James Harthouse is the sneaky seducing snake of the novel, who came to Coketown looking for a part in Gradgrind's political party. ...read more.


He is pulled out alive but then soon dies. His name is ironic, Blackpool, as he dies down a blackpool. Sissy Jupe is the good person in the novel. She cannot be beaten by the system. She had imagination, which only the circus folk else in the novel had. She is the heroine of the novel as she saves Louisa from James Harthouse and Louisa's young sister from her father and his educational system by educating her. MR Gradgrind at the start of the novel adopted her, as her father, who was in the circus, ran away and left her. Sissy symbolises imagination and humanity. She is the hope for the future. Dickens uses satire and humour in this novel very well. His attack on the educational and industrial system of his day was very good. Our world today is much different than his. There are still people today who would fit the personality of such people like the characters in the novel, however our educational system and industrial systems are probably quite the opposite of Dickens' days' system. We are encouraged to use our imagination with such school subjects as english, art, music technology and drama. ...read more.

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Related GCSE Hard Times essays

  1. Dickens' novel Hard Times is based in Coketown, a small industrial area. The story ...

    This is one of the things I like as he manages to get his opinion across in a very sly way but effective. The supporting staff comprises of M'Choakumchild. His name alone suggests he is part of Gradgrind's diabolical education system, the children so full of facts they are almost overflowing.

  2. Character Study of Stephen Blackpool From the Novel Hard Times.

    After Tom is taking Blackpool outside his room he tells him be outside Bounderby's bank at night and wait for an hour or so. He says that if he can help Stephen he will give Bitzer a message for him.

  1. analysis of hard time by charles dickens

    Gradgrind corrects her that her name is Cecilia regardless of what her father calls her. Jupe's father is involved in a horse-riding circus and this is not respectable�in Gradgrind's opinion. He advises Cecilia to refer to her father as a "farrier" (the person who shoes a horse)

  2. Y10 English Literature Coursework

    Who is that girl?' Dickens shows us his distaste for the system through the way he presents Gradgrind to us. Dickens effectively continues to call her 'girl number twenty'. Girl number twenty turns out to be Sissy Jupe, an innocent new girl whose father works at a circus.

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

    The circus folk cannot believe that he has used these harsh words to describe what has happened to Sissy and to destroy any hope she may carry of her father returning whilst she is so emotional and upset and they think of Bounderby as being unnecessarily cruel towards her.

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

    This is reflected in pupils like Bitzer, who makes the horse sound boring, like a machine even. Thomas Gradgrind totally believes in the teaching of facts only as did most schools as teachings during this period were void of poetry, make-believe tales, or song.

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

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    You have nothing to do with it . You are not to have, in any object of ornament, what would be a contradiction in fact..... This is the new discovery. This is fact. This is taste" You can see how this statement alone is barmy,pathetic and stupid and you can see how this can be dangerous to children

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