• 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 his negative views on education in Victorian society?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Dickens present his negative views on education in Victorian society? Hard times was published in the heart of the industrial revolution, in 1854, when anything mechanical was at the heart of Britain. Coketown has an uncanny resemblance to Manchester being a Northern town thriving through the industrial revolution; Manchester was once described as Cottonopolis because of the masses of cotton it produced for a world market. In many ways this is the same as Mr Bounderby's textile factory. In terms of the social aspect of the industrial revolution it was harsh; people worked for very little wages and lived in tight, cramped conditions often riddled with disease. But for the wealthy this period of time was exciting, innovating and most importantly prosperous. These are the two main binary oppositions in the novel, the division of the rich and the poor. During this revolution it was not just the industry that was changing but education as well. Predominantly education was the talking point of the Victorian people, with different people having varying views on how children should be taught. Dickens was one of these people; he did not conform to the ideologies of the time especially when it came to education. He believed that children should be taught fiction and reality, rather than just reality. Charles Dickens wrote this book in order to convey to the contrary his ideas of education. ...read more.

Middle

Finally, the schoolroom is described as a vault, a place, by definition, where something is locked to keep valuables. These valuables are the facts that are being taught and the children that are privileged enough to be in education at the time. The description moves on in vivid detail regarding 'the speaker' (Mr Gradgrind). His appearance; 'square forefinger' and 'square wall of a forehead', a square is the first shape you learn and is not fanciful with its 4 exactly equal straight edges, a square can also be seen as quite robotic and without any passion. Dickens then describes the speakers eyes as 'two dark caves', a metaphor that immediately conjures up negativity, and gives the impression that this is a man that is withdrawn from his emotions because the eyes are said to be the windows to the soul, and you can often tell a persons emotions just by looking into their eyes. The description is then rounded off talking about his head being 'like the crust of a plum pie, as if the head had scarcely warehouse-room for the hard facts stored inside'. This simile is used to great effect because with a plum pie comes oozing just like the facts oozing out of Mr Gradgrind's bald head. A warehouse-room is also mentioned, this relates to the industrial time where things were measured by the room as things were growing so quickly. ...read more.

Conclusion

comes from the circus and cannot understand the devotion to fact. During the class she is unable to define a horse after Mr Gradgrind has tried to find an answer to the mystery of the title for the job of Sissy's father. Then we are introduced to Bitzer a strongly spoken pupil who is able to define a horse with as many facts as only Mr Gradgrind could out-fact. In conclusion as a result of the exhausting exposure to fact Mr Gradgrind gradually learns that all this fact is not good for the pupil. An example of this is his own daughter, she had been stuffed full of facts so much that when she should have felt emotion she couldn't she did not know what to feel. Bitzer also had this reaction, as he had no feelings for anyone by the end of the novel in terms of other people's emotions, Bitzer was unable to read into them and determine what they meant. Dickens secretly criticises Gradgrind's utilitarian views, as every person is different, it is not just like a machine where all the produce is exactly equal to the first and the last. Furthermore the novel is riddled with bible passages, which could be seen as ironic, as Christianity, has not been proven by fact nor can we disregard it at a fictional story. Religion is the bridge, bridging the gap between Fact and Fancy. Gradgrind's religion was to facts and in the end he lost faith. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Russell X10 ...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. Compare and Contrast Dickens's picture of Coketown with Lodge's introduction to the industrial environment ...

    Lodge uses an overtly educational style to mirror the views of his subject whilst Dickens leans for a very figurative and proimaginative method. In Hard Times there is an important high use of imagery and symbolism, it is therefore relatively easy to gauge Dickens's point of view and draw links to his purposes.

  2. How appropriate is the title of Frayn's text Spies? Within Frayn's enigmatic and richly ...

    Hayward in their hideout amongst the privet bush. They follow her around and record her daily routine in their logbook. 'Keith crosses out BIRDS and writes LOGBOOK SECRIT.' Keeping a logbook shows how seriously they take this game of espionage, as they are very keen to contribute to the war effort.

  1. Hard Times - explore several issues from Dickenss point of view on Victorian Society, ...

    were taking over the workers, there were more and more machines and factories being built which would produce a lot more pollution, "in the waste yard outside, the steam from the escape pipe, the litter of barrels and old iron, the ashes everywhere."

  2. Hard Times(TM) is a social satire which explores the ills of an Industrial Victorian ...

    All of these terms are agricultural, which is ironic in such an industrial setting. There is a gradual learning process in all of the characters, especially Gradgrind. For instance , Gradgrind at one point says to Sissy, 'you are an affectionate, earnest, good - young woman and - and we must make do with that'.

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

    Men are grown mechanical in head and in heart, as well as in hand.' Carlyle shows concern with the term 'hand' and his regret that so little human contact is still in evidence, and that all has been given over to machines.

  2. How does Dickens present his views on education in 'hard times'?

    This is one way that Dickens tries to show to his audience that this type of education is wrong, the teaching of bare facts limits the imagination of the student and a more practical way of teaching, like Sissy has had, would help the children understand the facts that they are being taught, instead of just learning them.

  1. Hard Times - a look at Victorian education and the first part of the ...

    He clearly disagrees with how Sissy's father runs his life therefore in his opinion it is wrong. Encouragement and support was not a feature of education so when Sissy is unable to define a horse she is humiliated, as I will discuss later.

  2. What techniques does Dickens use to show his views of the Victorian society, in ...

    As time goes on, Sissy Jupe becomes a member of the family and is an alternative to the lacklustre Louisa. Bounderby convinces Louisa to marry him, and she does so because her brother encourages her to do so and because she can think of no better reason.

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