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What Literary techniques does Charles Dickens employ in order to satirise the education system of Victorian England in the opening chapters of

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Introduction

What Literary techniques does Charles Dickens employ in order to satirise the education system of Victorian England in the opening chapters of Hard Times 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. ...read more.

Middle

The whole of both chapters are written from a satirical perspective and it soon becomes obvious that Dickens detests this form of teaching. Dickens believes that Gradgrind doesn't see these children as children but machines that are drained of all imagination "had imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim." This becomes more and more increasingly obvious in chapter two. Dickens tries to make the reader feel disgusted about this way of teaching by satirizing it. There is a very definite atmosphere that you can detect from the classroom throughout both chapters; it seems tense, and very still. Everything that Gradgrind says when arguing about how these children should be taught is very spurious. In other words, because he's very domineering and dogmatic it sounds sensible, but it lacks logic and sense. The opening two chapters of Hard Times have a very good rhythm and it flows very well. For example, during the description of Gradgrind every sentence started with "The emphasis was helped by..." this helped to keep the reader interested in the description and it kept it as one description. ...read more.

Conclusion

"He and some other one hundred and forty other school masters had been lately turned out at the same time, in the same factory, on the same principles, like so many pianoforte legs" this mean that Mr. M'Choakumchild and the other teachers had all been taught the same things making them practically identical in their knowledge. They all were taught facts. In Charles Dickens' opinion Mr. M'Choakumchild had learnt too much and would have taught better if he hadn't learnt as much as the facts were practically drilled into him. "Ah, rather overdone Mr. M'Choakumchild if only he had learnt less how infinitely better he would have taught much more". In conclusion I feel Charles Dickens has successfully managed to satirise the education system, by using exaggeration, sarcasm, repetition and literary techniques such as metaphors and imagery. He captures his dissatisfaction with the Victorian system by consistently mocking the schoolroom, the teachers and their teaching methods and sympathises with the pupils who he believes are a product of the education system of that time. The 'jug and mug' principle applies as the children are seen as empty vessels waiting to be filled with useless facts. Dickens's book is made more believable as he adds his personal first hand experiences to enlighten the readers of life in a Victorian School. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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