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

Title: How does Dickens present the education system in Hard Times?

Extracts from this document...


COURSEWORK ON HARD TIMES Title: How does Dickens present the education system in Hard Times? How does this reflect life in Coketown? Hard Times reveals Dickens' increased interest in class issues and social observations. Dickens was extremely concerned with the miserable lives of the poor and working classes in the England of his day, and Hard Times is one of several of his novels that address these social problems directly. On hearing the name, Hard times, an imagination of people going through a difficult and hard way of life is revealed. This novel also reminds us of the hard times in the Victorian Times when children did not go to school; when education was varied according to social class- factory like schools for the poor and private tutors for the rich. Those that were able to have the so-called education suffered in the process. They were forced to learn a lot by heart because everything was formal and mechanical. They were put through a factory-like process, hoping to produce children that were possessed of nothing but facts. Not even a sense of fancy and imagination. They were educated to get the basics of life because they were going to be pushed into the outside world at a very young age of 12 and above or even below. ...read more.


She's identified with 'fancy'. She admits that she would carpet a room with representations of flowers because she's 'fond' of them. She said: 'if you please, sir, I am very fond of flowers.' She goes on to explain her reason but is taught by Mr. M'Choakumchild that she must not fancy and that she is 'to be in all things regulated and governed by facts' When she was asked to give her definition of a horse, due to her sense of imagination, and shyness, she couldn't. This does not mean that she doesn't know 'one of the commonest animals' but that she can't give the full definition in 'facts'. However, Bitzer (who has the name of a horse and a name which tells that he has bits of knowledge) is capable of defining a horse using biological classifications: 'Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring, in marshly countries, shed hoops, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.' Dickens is just beginning to make his point that education requires more than the learning and memorizing of facts. Dickens presents Bitzer as a boy of fact as Mr. Gradgrind although his physical descriptions are the opposite of Sissy's. ...read more.


Gradgrind, who personally possess different views of the education system. Although Sissy is a child when compared to Mr. Gradgrind, we can see that she believes that everything in the world should be dealt with, in a mind of personal belief (which in her case is fancy). Mr. Gradgrind's view of reality is so authentic that he won't accept anything outside its realm. That is why Dickens describes him as a 'man of realities' and a 'man of calculations and facts.' In my opinion, Mr. Gradgrind is a man that takes the beauty out of things and people. Mr. Gradgrind and Mr. M'Choakumchild have influenced Bitzer. That is why Bitzer appears to be 'pale' and 'cold' from Dickens description. Although the terms he used in the definition of a horse are correct, personally, it doesn't reveal the beauty and grace of a horse. It rather pictures a horse as an unattractive, obnoxious animal. In my opinion, I think Dickens has successfully made known his point of view by the words he used to describe people like Mr. Gradgrind and Mr. M'Choakumchild. By describing Mr.Gradgrind as 'a galvanizing apparatus' and as someone who has been 'charged with a grim mechanical substitute...' we can tell that he's not pleased with the genre of educational system in which the children were taught. By such description of these people that were regarded as government workers, we can tell that he's criticising the work of the government. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...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. Irony In Hard Times

    and James Harthouse. "... the amiable woman in ambuscade..." (Reaping, Chapter XI) From the quotation above, it is very clear that Dickens is satirising Mrs. Sparsit using the technique of irony. In this context, the word "amiable" is used in an ironic manner. In everyday context, amiable is defined as having or showing pleasant of good-natured personal qualities.

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

    Mr Bounderby believes himself to be morally superior to the inhabitants of Coketown who stand below his social status. However, Dickens portrays him as a hypocrite and although he is of a high social status, he is morally corrupt. Bounderby is representative of all men of his social status at

  1. How does Dickens present his negative views on education in Victorian society?

    could not understand why they reacted like this. This confrontation between classes highlighted the differences at the time. Dickens starts the first chapter of this novel with the title 'The one thing needful'; this refers to the bible passage Luke 10:42.

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

    Because of this Bitzer is shown to have no moral conscience this can be seen later on in the novel when Bitzer shows no compassion or lenience towards Tom Gradgrind, he is only able to consider how his decision will effect his career.

  1. 'How does Dickens present education in particular Gradgrind's philosophy of education in Hard Times?

    be beneath them and if any student were to visit the circus it would be a disgrace. Sissy seems immune to Gradgrind's system of education, she has the ability to be herself and not become 'fact like' 'if you please sir, I am very fond of flowers' Where as Bitzer

  2. In what ways does Dickens use satire as a means of illustrating social problems ...

    Bounderby is a very dire person, who doesn't repent from past experiences. When Gradgrind tells Louisa about Bounderby's proposal to marry her, Louisa is filled with emotions (suppressed by utilitarianism) that she couldn't express. In that scene Louisa sees the sun shining through the smoke in the window, which looks like fire.

  1. How appropriate is the title of Frayn's text Spies? Within Frayn's enigmatic and richly ...

    'For a moment I'm a child again.' This phrase has a dreamlike quality to it as the memory seems to bring old Stephen back to his childhood, which makes it sound surreal. It also indicates that the smell has awakened the narrator's childhood memories.

  2. Does Charles Dickens Show Affection To The Working Classes Of Victorian England In Hard ...

    Mr Bounderby is very large, which indicates greed, and very loud, which Dickens then mocks strongly. The quote describes Bounderby as being stretched out as to make room for all his big headedness, imagine for example a normal man with an unusually large head, although vague you can see how

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