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The Satiric Methods in the first two chapters of Hard Times

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The Satiric Methods in the first two chapters of Hard Times Dickens's was a lively writer who knew what he wanted to write about but also what his readers wanted to read. In each of his books dickens's is careful to select a balance between his own ideas a morel intention with that of what the Victorian public enjoyed, (mystery, crime, romance and comedy). Dickens also felt strongly about the unfair class division in the cities. He was determined to portray the wrongs done to children and make a stand against the utilitarianism in society. (Perhaps his own childhood experiences never left him). All of these factors contributed to the initial creation of "Hard Times. In this essay, I will look at the satiric methods Dickens uses in the opening chapter of "Hard Times). When first reading the opening chapters of the novel it is apparent that there is an obvious difference in style and language from today's text. ...read more.


Chokumchild would question the children, "Like a cannon", this simile compares the master to a weapon, " Loaded to the muzzle with facts", ready to shoot out facts and explode all of the opinion and imagination out of the children. This utilitarian approach quashed the young minds and meant that any opinion was unable to develop. I felt this to be a powerful and sad suggestion that the teachers, who are meant to encourage, aid and guide a child's personality, are instead, slowly destroying them by belittling and moulding them to become quiet and incomplete individuals. The system is upturned however; when a young Sissy jupe is asked to give her definition of the word circus but instead gives her own interpretation. This event causes outrage and displays just how petty and unappreciative Mr Gradgrind is of this style. Though this notion illustrates elements of truth, Dickens is slowly beginning to build sympathy with the reader and thus forming an engaging bond. ...read more.


"Plain, bare and dark" are all truthful adjectives which are honest and accurate. Orthography and etymology are both real subjects which were studied by the Victorians. These are mentioned to add a sense of authenticity to the scene and distract us from concentrating completely upon the underlying faults and floors with system. Once again the mood changes toward the end of the second chapter and Dickens expresses his anger and serious thoughts about the system. These fluctuating mind-sets are exciting for the reader and provide an emotional rollercoaster of thoughts. Victorian school was lifeless and dull which is why it's so difficult for us to distinguish between fact and exaggeration. I believe it is this ambiguity and use of humour and exaggeration which enables Dickens to tackle this issue with such ease. Successful imagery and descriptions allows us to perceive the situation invite us to form our own opinion about the state of the education system. This provides us with and intriguing and sophisticated beginning to the book. By Max Dowd 1009 ...read more.

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