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The book

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Introduction

The book "Hard Times" was written in 1854. It was written in weekly instalments in a magazine called Household Words. This is like a normal soap but was weekly. The magazine was owned by Charles Dickens as he was a journalist. The book was written at the time of the Industrial Revolution. This was when factories were being built near major towns and cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. The Industrial Revolution was a time when there were big improvements in transport as there was vast expansion in the production of iron. The factories were in the towns so people from the countryside came to the towns for work and a house. They moved because their own mills weren't making enough items of clothing etc whereas the factories could mass produce. However, there weren't enough houses so many were hastily built. This meant they had no fresh water, no sewers and no toilets. This led to a poor quality of living where people got water from communal water pipes and put their waste in a big "pile" which was cleaned by a "waste disposal man". The poor quality of living was added to by the huge smoke clouds which hung over the cities. ...read more.

Middle

Charles Dickens' had a poor upbringing and before he became an author he lived in a poor environment. He was born on February 7th 1812 into a family who were in financial trouble. This led to his father finding himself in prison for his debt problems. Charles Dickens went to school and at the age of twelve he went to "Warren's Blacking Factory" to work. This must have affected his later life as his hard lifestyle will have made him a "harder" person with "harder" views. This means his views of the education system will be biased as he must've thought the system had failed him. I think his biased ness will come out in his writing. During the main body of the book we find out how the plot develops. In the book young Tom Gradgrind becomes a dissipated, self interested hedonist. Louisa struggles with her life and feels that something is missing. Here we see that it is her "fancy". She then marries Josiah Bounderby of Coketown who claims he is a self-made man who says he was left in the gutter by his mother. Bounderby is a middle class man as is Gradgrind and the two are friends. ...read more.

Conclusion

Instead of working out the proportion she says; "I thought that it must be just as hard upon those who were starved whether the others were a million or a million million." This shows that she cares for those concerned. This is alike real life where people we meet can be different, alien like or how might we say normal. In "Hard Times" Dickens' does write realistically in a sense. However, in the first two chapters he writes in a more exaggerated way to arouse interest in the book. As this was written in weekly instalments he would have wanted to excite his readers with interesting first chapters so that they continue to buy the magazine. I think that after the first couple of chapter when Dickens' has an interested audience he starts to write in a more realistic fashion. In conclusion, life didn't turn out the way that was expected by many characters in "Hard Times." Those who strived to have perfect children didn't. And those who were looked down on proved to be essential characters in finding that there was more to life than what they were taught. Examine the way in which Charles Dickens writes about society and characters in "Hard Times" - taking specific reference to chapters one and two. By Jonathan Killey 10B-EN1 Mrs Comley ...read more.

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