• 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 views on education in 'hard times'?

Extracts from this document...


Prose assignment Jonathan Schofield How does Dickens present his views on education in 'hard times'? Hard times is set in the 1840's in the North of England. It's set at a time when Britain is changing dramatically because of the Industrial Revolution, which is mainly affecting this part of Britain. This revolution moved much of the work from the country into towns and cities, and small cramped villages were built around the factories and mills to house the workers. Dickens novel 'hard times' was set during this time. Dickens uses many techniques throughout the novel to show his views on education to his readers, the first of which is to create different characters, some of which contrast each other in different ways . Two of such Characters are Sissy Jupe and Bitzer. They differ in the ways they have been taught and the ways they see the education system. Bitzer is a model student, he has always strictly followed the system and been taught exactly how the system requires him to be taught. He is shown as lifeless and colourless, 'the boy was so light-eyed and light-haired that the self-same rays appeared to draw out of him what little colour he ever possessed.' ...read more.


Dickens then introduces the teacher, himself manufactured in much the same way as 'piano forte legs', showing that he is also part of an industry, like goods produced in a factory. Dickens creates the name ' M'Choakumchild which alone seems to pose a threat to the children. Dickens also uses a long list of complicated subjects like 'Orthography, etymology, syntax and prosody, to satirise the education system and show that it is ridiculous to teach young children such things. In effect Dickens says that the teachers had been over taught and maybe if M' Choakumchild had 'learnt a little less, how infinitely better he might have taught much more!' This is saying that if there was slightly less room for facts in his brain there would be more room for thought. Dickens ends by comically referring to Morgiana in the Forty Thieves suggesting that it was impossible to 'kill outright the robber fancy' instead that they only 'maim and distort'. This is saying that it isn't always possible to fill the student totally with facts , but to fill them to a point where they have little room for other things such as imagination. ...read more.


Dickens main view in the novel is that the ways the students are taught are wrong and are based too much on just learning facts. He believes that children should be taught to use their imagination and to think for themselves as well as being taught facts. He also believes that the attitude from the education staff towards learning is wrong, they believe that to be the perfect student is to know a great deal of facts, and to think for themselves is not an issue; but Dickens does not believe this. He presents these views in different ways, most of which though include using other characters to his advantage, mainly the school staff. Dickens tells us of their views and uses satire to make his point. He comically describes some off the staff both in their appearance and character. Doing this makes us think of them less seriously therefore taking their views less seriously, which promote his own. He uses language very well, he uses many metaphors and is very descriptive, which helps us to understand the character he is portraying. It is apparent that Dickens' purpose in the novel is to make the reader understand and agree with his views on education, which he does both cleverly and effectively. ...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 ...

    Louisa also suffers from many hard times in the novel, mainly caused by the pragmatic education system and her relationships with the other characters, but her hard times are also a result of the female role in Victorian times. As a child she has no opportunity for the development of her imagination or spirit.

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

    is very to the point when speaking, he shows no emotion and is very 'fact like'. Gradgrind produces a quite ridiculous question for Sissy to answer 'Girl number twenty, give me a definition of a horse' Sissy knows what a horse is as she was brought up with them, but she is unable to answer Gradgrind's ridiculous question.

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

    Dickens tries to emphasise his point about how Utilitarianism in the education system can create heartless people whose primary function is work. The formation of Bitzer's character later on in the novel can be blamed on the education system as it has basically taken all creativity and humanity out of him, 'draw out what little colour he possessed'.

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

    Mr Gradgrind was extremely discomforted by this unexpected question. 'Well, my child...I - really - cannot..." He speaks with a stutter and does cannot respond. However, when he is able to incorporate facts into his answer, he is again at ease and will go on talking for long periods of

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

    Dickens exaggerates every possible human characteristic in a negative fashion and implements it on Bounderby. Bounderby maintains that he fought his way, tooth and nail, to gain his present position. This is a very admirable accomplishment. Everyone takes Bounderby's story for the gospel until Mrs Sparsit, a servant who used

  2. The purpose of this essay is to describe the characters of Mr. Thomas Gradgrind ...

    He brags to Mr. Harthouse about the fact that he convinced Louisa to marry Bounderby, in order to make it much easier for him to work for Bounderby. He is altogether an unsavoury, greedy, manipulative character, but the worst was yet to come. When he hits cash-flow problems, and Louisa no longer has the

  1. Childhood is an integral theme in both Hard Times and God of Small Things

    in an event filled situation: "mesmerised by something they sensed but didn't understand". By denying Esthahappen and Rahel of this deeper comprehension of life she shows the reader what is a more stereotypical image of childhood. While Dickens's characters are matured by their severe entrance to the world Arundhati Roy

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

    Additionally the use of alliteration "melancholy madness" stimulates the noise of the machinery and provides the reader a vivid reverberation of the hard times felt. Dickens effectively uses characterisation - such as animism - and the language technique of alliteration, to identify the terrible pollution caused by industrialisation representing the hard times felt by the working class.

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