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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. 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.

  2. Y10 English Literature Coursework

    His eyes are overshadowed which link to the darkness and we associate this with ignorance. Dickens keeps using repetition to bore us from Gradgrind, which continues the idea that he is a boring man. Dickens also starts each sentence with 'the emphasis was helped by...'

  1. Examine Dickens' presentation of the education system in 'Hard Times'.

    We see that the facts they learn are useless. Bitzer's description is no help; someone who has never seen a horse would still not know what one looked like. Sissy, with her natural understanding of a horse contradicts the cold definition.

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    Gradgrind, like any teacher seems to have his favourite pupils. They are usually children that are intelligent and bright, which again, is not uncommon among teachers. Dickens describes Gradgrind as "square", he says that he wore a "square coat", had "square legs", "square shoulders", a "square wall of a

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

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  1. Hard Times by Charles Dickens - How he mocked the educational system in the ...

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    (Hard Times, pg. 140). It was something he had begun out of obligation and in the long run it had moved itself into his entire being. After work every day he feels a sensation "-the sensation of its [his labor] having worked and stopped in his own head" (Hard Times, pg.

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