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

Select 2 or 3 episodes involving the circus, and show by what means Dickens uses them to develop a contrast between opposing values in Hard Times.

Extracts from this document...


Select 2 or 3 episodes involving the circus, and show by what means Dickens uses them to develop a contrast between opposing values in Hard Times. The first incident that involves the circus and circus people that I would like to talk about, and that clearly demonstrates the contrast between opposing values is on page 34 onwards. Mr Gradgrind, the absolute pinnacle of fact in the book, goes to visit the Circus people to tell them that the fanciful Sissy Jupe can no longer attend the school. I have chosen this incident as it involves more of the circus characters than really at any other time, secondly the description of the circus shows just how far from the world and values of fact it is. The circus is the best symbol for representing the alternative to all that is fact in the book; the circus is seen as a world of mystery and wonder almost of magic and idea that completely goes against the idea of facts. ...read more.


just "plain hard facts" Sleary in this chapter is the real philosopher on the ideas of fancy he even says it "...I lay down the philothophy of the thubject when thay to you, Thquire, make the betht of uth: not the wurtht!" This chapter clearly show the contrast between opposing views and values in Hard Times, the circus shows a whole new world but is representative of a whole new set of values the ideas of fancy are represented in the themes and scenes with the circus. The thing is with the circus is that it has almost dreamlike status things happen there that cannot happen anywhere else and it appears to be an almost illusion, for example "The father of one of the families was in the habit of balancing the father of another of the families on top of a great pole." These are the things that you would only expect to see in dreams and so therefore it is fanciful, a complete contrast to the ideas of fact displayed throughout the rest of Hard Times. ...read more.


apparently to dream or to be imaginative is lazy in Gradgrind's books. Which is why the factual way in which Gradgrind has based his life upon is so offended by the ideas of fancy as he doesn't like the thought of being considered as being not lazy but that there can be other ways to work hard in life. Gradgrind is so full of the idea that facts are right, that he even questions and believes that with all these thoughts at the disposal they could make the wrong decision, when surely it isn't a case of right and wrong? Just opposing views and they do oppose each other! Gradgrind does say though "Thomas though I have the facts before me I find it difficult to believe that you with your education and resources should have brought your sister to a scene like this." This makes it seem as though education is supposed to kill the imagination, which clearly conflicts with the views of the circus, which believe that you should work hard and perform in life, but never let the dreams die. ...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. Analysis of Hard Times Chapter 2

    is seen as the worst pupil. On page 7, Dickens claims that "No, Sir!" was always the right answer to Gradgrind's questions. This lack of variety shows the continued theme of fact and order in the classroom. When we are told that Sissy says 'yes,' we are also told that her voice is 'feeble.'

  2. The purpose of this essay is to consider what role the circus folk play ...

    It is at this point that Gradgrind suddenly and probably to his shock discovers that he does have feelings and that all is not cut and dry, yes he accepts that Tom has stolen and should be punished but he doesn't want to allow Tom to be punished, he is

  1. Do you think that the characters in Hard Times have credibility? Are they fully ...

    Louisa begins to realise that she has not done a lot with her life, she is growing up and her childhood has been stolen from her. This is the reason why the second chapter is tiled "Murdering the Innocents," it is referring to the innocence of childhood.

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

    childish imagination is utterly discouraged...where I have never seen among pupils anything but little parrots and small calculating machines." It seems that even though Dickens is portrayed as a realist, he still believes children should be taught the arts (perhaps not too surprising as he is a writer of fiction).

  1. Hard Times - A Practical Criticism

    We can infer from this that Coketown has two separate breeds of weather, one for the town and another for the factory. This, therefore ray of sunshine is therefore repeated as it is a bout of astonishment, the astonishment being that not only is the sun shinning upon the factory,

  2. analysis of hard time by charles dickens

    for his skewed depictions of skewed power-relationships offer the truth at the heart of the matter, if not the "hard fact." This first chapter is prefatory, and in the second, Dickens introduces the names of the characters and their town as a further element of caricature.

  1. How does Dickens contrast wealth and poverty in the opening book of Hard Times?

    Charles Dickens does not fully answer the question of how the poor live, but instead tries to impel us to start asking this question for ourselves. In Hard Times there are more rich characters than poor characters. This could be seen as a failing by Dickens but I believe that

  2. Compare the way Dickens presents Mr Gradgrind and the circus people in Hard Times

    The poor worked in factories with low wages, no safety and no holidays, this made Dickens hate the industrialists. Education was plagued and disturbed at the time with facts being loved in the Victorian Times. Facts went hand in hand though with Gradgrind with him living by them in his profession and being "hailed with facts".

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