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

How does Dickens present education in the novel Hard Times?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Dickens present education in the novel Hard Times? In the novel, Dickens presents education in a very old fashioned way. Thomas Gradgrind is obsessed with teaching just facts and that people must not use their imagination. He has a school run by Mr M'Choakumchild. Mr. Gradgrind, whose voice is 'dictatorial', opens the novel by stating 'Now, what I want is facts' at his school in Coketown. He is a man of 'facts and calculations.' He wants his pupils to come out of school correct, having vast knowledge of facts and to turn into a "Hand", or a worker. His education is based clearly around facts, no imagination or wondering, just facts: 'Now, what I want is facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else.' He believes that anything but facts will not be of any use to children and should be removed from their brains, like deleting a file off a computer. "Now, what I want is facts" His education is delivered in a narrow limited manor. ...read more.

Middle

Louisa feels suppressed as she is told she cannot imagine, '"I have such unmanagable thoughts" returned his sister, "they will wonder."' When Sissy Jupe comes to live with Louisa and Tom, Louisa was fascinated to know about Sissy's fuller life and asks her question after question of every kind as her imagination is starved, "Tell me more about him" '"Why was he angry at the dog" Louisa demanded' "Finish by telling me how you're father left you, Sissy. Now that I have asked you so much, tell me the end," Thomas and Louisa feel like they are united in isolation, they discuss their troubles with each other and stand by each other. Thomas, however, appears more beaten down and negative. When Mr. Gradgrind found both of his children watching a circus, Thomas gave in more easily. "Thomas did not look at him but gave himself up to be taken home like a machine," This showed Thomas feeling hopeless with the situation. There was no questioning of his fathers' power. Thomas has become resentful and angry because his imaginative needs have not been met, "I wish I could collect all the facts ...read more.

Conclusion

But eventualy Mr Gradgrind gives up and accepts he cannot convert Sissy. '"I fear, Jupe" said Mr Gradgrind, "that your continuance at the school any longer would be useless."' He gives Sissy the chance to stay with the Gradgrinds and look after Mrs. Gradgrind. Despite Sissy failing the experiment, he can still make her a "Hand" by helping his wife. Dickens' view of education is extremely satirical. He does not agree with any of Gradgrinds views on how education should be presented. The way he goes about informing the reader of this is not subtle. The chapters in which he names are sarcastic, "Sissy's progress" Dickens uses irony here to sarcastically describe sissy's lack of progress under Gradgrind's' education as he if failing sissy. "Never Wonder" Dickens enforces the narrow minded view of Gradgrind, telling Louisa to never wonder which is stupid as it is part of human nature to. He informs the reader what he thinks is happening to the children in the chapter title, "Murdering the innocents" Dickens relates to the story in the bible by the title as he thinks dickens is murdering the innocent children by taking their imagination and wonder out of their heads. ...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. 'What are the reasons which Dickens gives for the hard times described in the ...

    He acts as a good contrast to the richer characters in the novel. Stephen remains kind and trustworthy throughout the novel; this quality is abused by other characters in the novel for example when Tom uses him as a cover when he robs the bank.

  2. 'How does Dickens present education in particular Gradgrind's philosophy of education in Hard Times?

    This may have been the education he was brought up on himself, and if Gradgrind sees himself in good view then he must believe his system works. Dickens explains in his novel how this type of education was not pleasant.

  1. How does Dickens present his attitudes to education in the opening chapters of hard ...

    and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them'. This metaphor creates the image of mass production with every outcome, almost identical. The phrases, 'arranged in order' and 'imperial gallons' enforce the idea that everything in the education system is performed mathematically and based on fact.

  2. By the end of Book 1, Dickens's criticism of Gradgrind's utilitarian thinking is apparent. ...

    the town were painted alike, in the severe characters of black and white". This is similar to the pupils in the model school who are all manufactured to fit one moulded person so you don't know what they're actually like inside.

  1. Dickens calls his novel Hard Times. How does Dickens communicate a sense of the ...

    By showing how hardly anyone went to church on Sundays despite there being "eighteen denominations" is another example of Dickens showing the replacement of faith in religion with faith in industrialisation. By doing this, Dickens is condemning the workers. He is reproving their false idolisation of industry in Coketown rather than following moral religious belief.

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

    to the circulation of the blood, can doubt that I have a heart." All Bitzer knows is facts. The reader realises that not only has Gradgrind damaged other people and destroyed their lives he has also caused problems for himself and his family.

  1. Y10 English Literature Coursework

    A popular saying that comes to mind is 'don't run before you can walk. You shouldn't rush the children; just let them learn for themselves. Dickens uses chilling words to describe how they had been brought up. An 'ogre' which is unfriendly, is used to describe their teacher who is

  2. How does Dickens present his negative views on education in Victorian society?

    A perfect example of the snobbery of upper class Victorian Britain is Mr Bounderby's snuff at girl number twenty's 'nine oils'. The two upper class fact based gentlemen cannot understand the idea that the nine oils could cure something that had seen to be incurable, but Sissy (Girl number twenty)

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