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

Through close analysis of the first two chapters of Hard Times, explore Dickens' attitude towards education

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Coursework Hard Times Through close analysis of the first two chapters of Hard Times, explore Dickens' attitude towards education. In the first chapter, Dickens introduces us with a glimpse of the story, with a descriptive insight into the school and its policies. We are not revealed the names of the characters in the opening chapter, but it introduces the schoolmaster by mere description of character and appearance. This, rather than introducing us by name, gives us a close and detailed description of one of the main characters, the schoolmaster, his views and manifestation of the school itself. This will help us understand the schoolmaster, Mr Gradgrind, and brings us to a clear understanding of his most important policy, a constant motif throughout the chapters, 'Facts'. We are also unaware of the setting but, again introduced by appearance. This is all significant to the story itself, as this is all a factual description, underlining the schools factual education. ...read more.

Middle

This is a geometrical description of the schoolmaster, portraying him as a square character, and again factual, even his appearance is mathematical. The passage continues with a graphic, factual description of the schoolmaster, using his features for emphasis of his character. 'The emphasis was helped by the speaker's voice, which was inflexible, dry, and dictatorial', again we are introduced to Gradgrind's dry, dull character, but commanding and 'dictatorial'. As the paragraph continues to assess Gradgrind we realise that everything about Gradgrind is factual, form the way he looks, to the way he dresses. 'Trained to take him by the throat with an unaccommodating grasp, like a stubborn fact, as it was,-all helped by emphasis', referring to his neckcloth, he force-feeds the pupils obstinately with facts. The chapter concludes with a sentence long paragraph comparing the pupils with 'vessels' that are 'ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The motif emerges constantly throughout the next few sentences, 'A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations', this confirm his personality, being a 'man of facts' he incites his factual educational policies on his pupils. 'A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over', Gradgrind sticks to the basic facts and principle, this is essential because, as we see later on Gradgrind demands (when asking how to describe a horse) only brief facts, to the point, no in depth description. Gradgrind it seems, is portrayed as a perfect, almost faultless, 'With a rule and a pair of scales, and a multiplication table always in his pocket', he is never lacking information, mathematical information or factual. The passage then continues to say that his mentality can never be altered or hindered 'You might hope to get some nonsensical belief into the head of George Gradgrind or John Gradgrind........., But into the head of Thomas Gradgrind- no, Sir', this implicates his stubbornness towards his beliefs, and ideas. ...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. Look carefully at the opening chapters of 'Hard Times' and explain some of the ...

    "This is the principle on which I bring up my own children". Mr. Gradgrind sees the children as little plants growing "plant nothing else and root out everything else" he only wants children to learn facts he doesn't want to let them have any imagination.

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

    an idea that "pretty things" are embraced, and seen as an escape from day to day realities. Dickens tries to portray the importance of encouraging imagination, and the idea that a child's imagination must be allowed to flourish in order for them to develop true intelligence.

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

    Gradgrind wants him to let Tom go and not tell any one what he has done. "Bitzer...have you a heart?" Gradgrind wants Bitzer to pity his family but Bitzer doesn't know what these feelings are and doesn't have them. "No man, sir, acquainted with the facts established by Harvey relating

  2. Y10 English Literature Coursework

    This shows us how Dickens describes the schoolroom as unattractive and dull. Dickens also uses the word 'monotonous' which is something boring, never-changing and stays the same. A vault is a storeroom which is practical (like Gradgrind himself), so there is no need to make it look attractive.

  1. Hard times Coursework

    portrayed by one of its residents, built around the beliefs and ideas of influential utilitarians like Thomas Carlyle and Jeremy Bentham creating the ideas of the crowded work and homes, and the entire city is built around how a utilitarianism, machines and the few jobs which machines can not yet

  2. Look carefully at the opening chapters of Hard Times and explore Dickens attitude towards ...

    It is a dull environment and therefore has nothing to stimulate the pupils. The word 'monotonous' means all the same; nothing changes and is boring. Dickens uses that word to describe the classroom, in which to describe Gradgrind's rationalist environment.

  1. How does Dickens shape the reader's impressions of the Gradgrind education system in the ...

    Finally Thomas Gradgrind speaks in a very short and sharp way for example 'now what I want is facts' emphasising the subject and how it is all he knows and cares about. Dickens also introduces pupils in the first two chapters, Thomas Gradgrind compares the pupils using 'Sissy' and 'Bitzer' and he also uses many metaphors to describe the children.

  2. Exploring some of the ways in which Dickens's Attitudes to Education are presented in ...

    Gradgrind embarrasses her because her fathers a horsebreaker. When Bitzer is asked the same question he comes out with a whole list of facts on horses and impresses Mr. Gradgrind. Readers may feel some sympathy for Sissy as she is put under pressure and she may be new to 'facts'.

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