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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. In what ways does Dickens use satire as a means of illustrating social problems ...

    Dickens uses fire to represents the creative imagination, or "fancy," and it is used in the novel only in association with Louisa. He depicts Gradgrind as a person who stops at nothing to do what he wants, be it good or bad.

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

    "Rather overdone, M'Choakumchild. If he had only learnt a little less, how infinitely better he might have taught."

  2. Y10 English Literature Coursework

    Once more the children are objects as Gradgrind call to a girl and labels her as 'Girl number twenty'. He shows no concern at all for the children and there's no warmth or care in his tone of voice as he says, 'I don't know that girl.

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

    Age known by marks on mouth." This explanation of a horse is completely factual, devoid of emotion, imagination or 'fancy'. Sissy is positioned at one end of the room, receiving a full beam of sunshine from the window, appearing radiant and even angelic, whilst Bitzer, who sits at the other end of the classroom, fails to catch the end.

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

    the head had scarcely warehouse room for the hard facts stored inside." Here is another example describing children:- "All backed a little, and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim."

  1. Hard Times" is a novel concerned to shake some people in the terrible mistake ...

    Dickens opinion of the system continues as he calls the second chapter, "Murdering the Innocents". He is suggesting that by depriving the children's minds of fancy will eventually ruin them, a theme shown through Gradgrind's children. The use of terms like "girl number twenty" in the school contributes to the

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

    We can already see that he has an air of authority about him. "Always in training, always with a system". This is a reflection of teachers in today's modern society, they are the system, a machine, and the children have to follow this.

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