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

What does Dickens have to say about Education and Industrialism in the Opening Chapters of "Hard Times"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What does Dickens have to say about Education and Industrialism in the Opening Chapters of "Hard Times" " Hard times" is a novel about people who lived in English factory towns at the height of the industrial revolution. In the opening chapters, Dickens shows the brutally- practical philosophy of utilitarianism could influence life in schools and factories. He shows how pupils are "educated" in a school run by Thomas Gradgrind, and then goes on to describe the fictional town of Coketown, and the appalling conditions its factory workers had to endue. The novel "Hard Times" is divided into three books, the first of, which is called "sowing." Dickens calls the first book this to refer on the one hand to plants: how they are treated when going affects their development; for example, if you leave a plant in a cellar with no water its not going to be as healthy as a well looked after plant. ...read more.

Middle

The chapter starts with the speaker from chapter whose name is "Thomas Gradgrind." He describes the character's attitude with no verbs. This gives the impression to the reader the man is too business like to bother with verbs for the tone is serious, crisp and business like. "With a rule and a pair of scales and the multiplication table always in his pocket, Sir, ready o weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. It is a mere question of figures, a case simple arithmetic," is a quotation from the first paragraph where Dickens is being ironic, for he thinks human nature, isn't simple enough to be measured scientifically because there is a needs for imagination and sympathy. Soon afterwards, Dickens uses alliteration ("to be filled so full of facts,") to suggest the children are like a sponge that just absorb the facts forced upon them. He also shows Gradgrind calling a girl not by her name but "Girl twenty," which suggests to the reader that a name characterizes ...read more.

Conclusion

Dickens has used the same method as with Mr. Gradgrind of the name representing the characters personality and attitude. Mr. M'Choakumchild seems to the reader, to choke the imagination out of the children. Dickens suggests this by the repetition of the word "same" as in the opening paragraph in chapter 1 of "facts", "had been lately turned at the same time, in the same factory on the same principles," when describing Mr. M'Choakumchild. The words "in the same factory," also implying they are the same products and are not treated as individuals, "like so many pianoforte legs," Dickens simile suggests the dry, "wooden" teaching in Gradgrind's school. When he characterizes Mr. M'Choakumchild's appearance he uses phrases like "his ten chilled fingers," to also mean cold and unfeeling, furthermore, a phrase like "his stony way," to indicate lack of moral warmth. Dickens adds a dire authorial comment a paragraph later:- "ah, rather overdone, M'Choakumchild. If he had only learnt a little less how infinitely better, he might have taught much more!" to convey the idea that if he had become a better human being than he would have been a better teacher. ...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. How does Dickens present his attitudes to education in the opening chapters of hard ...

    Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders...", although this would be accepted as the correct answer, Bitzer gives no emotional response to what he is saying where as Sissy Jupe was unable to give a factual description of a horse but she would have been able to express how horses make her feel in a fanciful way, implying her emotional intelligence.

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

    Bounderby is humiliated when his mother has been found, and the truth about his past is revealed 'o for shame, to accuse me of being a bad mother to my son, with my son standing here to tell you so different!'

  1. analysis of hard time by charles dickens

    In fact, Louisa has asked her brother to come along with her to the amusement. Gradgrind is embarrassed, arguing that the two children are debasing themselves but Louisa merely replies that she is "tired" and has been "tired for a long time."

  2. Y10 English Literature Coursework

    The man is totally oblivious to the psychological fact that you can get pleased by things you like to look at. Afterwards, a new teacher, Mr M'Choakumchild is introduced to give his first lesson there. Again, his name can be interpreted as choking a child - in the sense of imagination.

  1. Explain how the theme of education is presented in Hard Times. What comments do ...

    the idea of how adults see the children and it creates the vivid image of children being like products on a production line and the factory making them is like a school of that time. This is because the style of teaching was so rough and rigorous that it is

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

    who is hiding within the "jars" before him. The metaphor of "vessels" is introduced again. M'Choakumchild is depicted as a Victorian "gentleman" but his intention to find and destroy children' innocent imagination makes him more criminal than the robbers in Dickens' opinion. The same can be said for the third gentleman introduced in the second chapter who is a boxer.

  1. How does Dickens contrast wealth and poverty in the opening book of Hard Times?

    But the money isn't able to bring her joy or love but only material possessions. Her education has prevented her from having a warm personality, instead, she is silent, cold, and seemingly unfeeling, though she only appears to be like this because she doesn't know how to express herself.

  2. Compare and contrast the way in which particular aspects of education are presented in ...

    Facts, calculations and precision in everything are encouraged, producing heartless and 'hard' individuals, devoid of feelings or compassion. 'Fancy' is completely discouraged, as is any use of the imagination, which is devoid of financial gain or practical benefit. Mr. Gradgrind uses his control to humiliate a pupil in front of the class in the opening scene.

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