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

What evils does Dickens portray in book oneOf "Hard Times" and how does he go about it?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What evils does Dickens portray in book one Of "Hard Times" and how does he go about it? Written in 1854, Charles Dickens' "Hard Times" tells the story of many different characters and their growth through troubles and time. The book does not give an accurate historical background of Dickens' time but rather, focuses on the utilitarian value system that was popular and attacks it with a satirical attitude. Even in book one alone, there are several different 'evils' represented through characters and events. One specific 'evil' Dickens attacks is that of the public schooling system. Mr Gradgrind, the owner of a school in the book, is often heard telling people of how he wants facts taught to the pupils at his school; "nothing else will ever be of service to them" he comments. The point that Dickens seems to be portraying in this book about schools is that the system seems to focus only on facts, nothing else, and this is not, despite the system's views, the most important thing for people. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens does this particularly through Stephen Blackpool who, although is an honest person, cannot end his unhappy marriage to an alcoholic wife by divorce as it is too expensive and so only rich people can do it. Stephen comments that he wants to be "ridded" of his wife even though he "were patient wi' her" and he "were mot an unkind husband to her" only to be told that " there is a law" that could help him "but that's not for you. It costs money" showing the unfairness of that society. Just because Stephen is a worker and has little money, he can't divorce his wife despite her raging temper and his unhappiness, only rich people can get divorced. Bounderby then continues on his argument against Stephen's divorce by telling him he is going "into the wrong road" and that he sees "traces of the turtle soup, and venison, and gold spoon in this" meaning that he thinks that Stephen is only wanting a divorce to try and take advantage of the company, Bounderby is saying that Stephen thinks he is ...read more.

Conclusion

The evils of alcohol and addiction are also shown through book one with Stephen Blackpool's wife. Dickens describes her as a "disabled, drunken creature", although Stephen states that she " were a young lass - pretty enow" when he married her but "she went bad - soon" after she started drinking. Stephen is constantly represented as an honest individual who does nothing wrong but still has the full effect of bad luck with him constantly. Dickens demonstrates through the wife's character that drink can change someone from a nice, pretty young woman to someone who her own husband pays to keep her away and it is capable of ruining something as sacred as a marriage then what else can it do. In conclusion I feel that through book one of "Hard Times", Dickens challenges many of the social injustices and evils that were present at his time. Some of them are simple, obvious ones but others he does it a more subtle way such as family relationships. ?? ?? ?? ?? Melissa Rynn 6A1 ...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. By the end of Book 1, Dickens's criticism of Gradgrind's utilitarian thinking is apparent. ...

    Perhaps Dickens is alluding here to a tendency for females to be more emotional than men. Dickens also uses Louisa and Tom's body language to undermine Gradgrinds approach to education. Tom is "sitting astride of a chair before the fire, with his face on his arms" where as Louisa, "sat

  2. In what ways do you think that in the presentation of Sissy and Louisa ...

    and 'and your father was always kind? To the last? This demonstrates the lack of these issues in Louisa's life, as a result of her environment and education. When Sissy begins to sob, Louisa approaches her, kisses her and takes her by the hand.

  1. analysis of hard time by charles dickens

    to whom Dickens alludes. The speaker demands power without the benevolence, patience or sacrifice that is expected of the role. The speaker is instructing the schoolteacher on how to instruct and this adds to the irony and deliberate confusion of the short scene.

  2. What is Dickens Attitude to the Working Classes in Chapter XX (Book 2, Chapter ...

    Dickens attitude to the Chairman is he is the neutral character in the chapter. "There was a chairman to regulate the proceedings , and this functionary now took the case into his own hands." This was said about the chairman after Slackbridge had spoken and there was a lot of confusion amid the crowd.

  1. The Themes and Issues Introduced in 'Book The First' Of "Hard Times".

    There is much repetition that seems to mock the idea of sticking to facts in a lively way. '...Square coat, square legs, square soldiers.' Dickens is trying to suggest that his appearance as well as his personality is factual and he has no fancy in him.

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

    In this section Charles Dickens points out how little is known about the poor and how little interest society shows in their thoughts, feelings, and problems, and that the government can calculate the National Debt but cannot calculate what is going on in the peoples hearts.

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