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

The purpose of this essay is to consider what role the circus folk play within the structure of Hard Times

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The purpose of this essay is to consider what role the circus folk play within the structure of Hard Times. I will be looking at ways they affect the novel and why the circus was placed into the novel in the first place. The role of the circus is both complex and simple it is in itself a contradiction; it has been placed within the novel to add another dimension to the story of Coketown but also to show how fragile human nature can be. The circus folks role are complicated in their simplicity, they are of course there to carry out the role that they are paid to perform as actors or performers as well as being there for the second more complicated role of showing the notion of fancy within the novel. It is this second role which this essay will strive to discuss and discover. There are many sides to the circus it is a multi talented organisation all of the members perform more than one job they are multi skilled workers who live and work together as a large extended family there is affection and friendship in many ways and in many form. ...read more.

Middle

Bounderby has achieved wealth and 'power' through the use of fact and the removal of his ability to fancy, Sleary has not achieved the same degree of wealth or power but he has achieved it doing what he loves with people that he cares about. The circus folk are an extended family this is shown when Sissy seeking comfort after finding that her father has deserted her seeks comfort she desires in the arms of a female friend "who knelt down on the floor to nurse her, and to weep over her" (Charles Dickens; pg 48, Hard Times,1854 ). The fact that the women to whom she seeks comfort is not her mother but still shows Sissy affection and even appears to feel some of Sissy's pain in the knowledge that she has lost her father reinforces the readers idea that the circus is one family that are tied together through their emotions and feelings-fancy. When Bounderby tells Sissy that her father has left her he tells her that he too has been abandoned and that there is no hope of her ever seeing her father again, "you mustn't expect to see him again as long as you live" (Charles Dickens: pg48, Hard Times, 1854). ...read more.

Conclusion

This became apparent when Tom was held at the circus and Bitzer attempted to take him back to Coketown, Sleary stands by Gradgrind as a friend and arranges to help Tom get away in return for what Gradgrind has done for Sissy since her father has left her. The role of the circus and its people throughout the novel has been to show the binary opposites of fact versus fancy of Coketown versus The Circus. The circus has through the novel shown that it stands for transformation; people become what they want it is a way of escape for many people either by watching its acts or in Tom's case a literal way of escape. The circus manages to show a second side to everybody even the people that the reader would not expect to have a second side. By introducing the concept of the circus Dickens has found a way of introducing love, affection and fancy into a fact based town. It is the reappearance of the circus at the end of the novel that finally brings the conclusion of Hard Times when fact and fancy join together and ends the tale with a positive ending. ...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 page 1 'Hard Times'

    'The emphasis' is written four times in this paragraph, compelling you to read more. Dickens describes the speaker as having a; 'square wall of a forehead' this connotes power and authority. This figure, 'The speaker' is a person of dominance, stressing his control over the listeners.

  2. What impression does Dickens give us of Coketown and its people in Hard Times?

    and every part year the counterpart of the last and next'. Dickens plays careful attention to show that all aspects of Coketown suffer from repetition. He emphasises how he physical features, the streets and the residents of Coketown are unvaried, 'streets still more like one another, inhabited by people equally like one another'.

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

    He can only understand its factual purpose, "You seem to find more to look at in it than ever I could find" he says, putting this down to, "Another of the advantages...of being a girl" as his unimaginative mind cannot think of any other reason she can look deeper into the flames.

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

    After making strict orders that 'each of the young persons before us that has a string of hair twisted in plaits...must be cut off'. However, a mere few seconds later, his daughters enter with 'a profusion of light tresses, elaborately curled'.

  1. Imagery in Hard Times

    The imagery of Coketown helps to bring across two of the major themes in the novel: 'Fancy vs. Fact,' and 'Unnaturalness.' In Chapter seven of book one, Dickens introduces Mrs Sparsit. Mrs Sparsit is Mr Bounderby's housekeeper and she is a widow of considerable high-born and family pretensions, with a bedridden great-aunt Lady Scadgers.

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

    Indeed, the pollution is characterised as "serpents of smoke" to emphasise how the pollution becomes alive and animated which is further extended by the use of alliteration. This clever animalisation further criticises industrialisation since serpents are symbolic of evil. Dickens is therefore suggesting that this pollution is an evil by-product of industrialisation.

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

    Tom has also been damaged by Gradgrind he uses facts all through his life. "So many people are employed in situations of trust; so many people, out of so many will be dishonest." Tom uses a fact to pardon himself for robbing the bank where he worked.

  2. Key Question: How does Charles Dickens show his dislike of the education system in ...

    From sowing to strangling, hard times are literally foreshadowed ahead through this unsuitable education. Moreover, Dickens uses exaggeration to the point of making his characters into caricatures. "The emphasis was helped by the speaker's square wall of a forehead,

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