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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


"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.

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. Hard Times - explore several issues from Dickenss point of view on Victorian Society, ...

    Gradgrind does this in order to keep his children away from the lower class students so they don't get influenced, he doesn't allow them to go anywhere at all so its really like a prison. This shows how much Gradgrind hates the working class people.

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

    It is easy to look at Dickens other texts not just this one to see that anyone who is meant to be aristocracy or the upper classes in portrayed as being wicked and pretentious. This obviously supports the argument that Dickens had affection for the working classes otherwise why would it be in most of his texts?

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

    Dickens uses this to show how the education system has taken all of Bitzer's 'colour' from him; colour being something which represents creativity and happiness as opposed to the dullness of black and white. Dickens tries to portray that all children have 'colour' in them but the education system draws it out and replaces it with facts.

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

    In the second chapter Dickens uses word associated with war to imply there is a war waging against childhood. This suggests to the reader Gradgrind is totally against childhood altogether. In the first chapter Dickens uses repetition of the words 'facts', 'nothing else' and 'the emphasis was helped by'.

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

    In chapter 2, 'Murdering the Innocents', Dickens implies Gradgrind is destroying the pupil's innocence. He uses a strong word such as 'murdering'; this suggests Gradgrind's rationalism is affecting the pupils' minds and effectively getting rid of any innocence left. As 'murdering' means the taking away of a life, cleverly, Dickens

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

    The 'monotonous' part shows that it never changes. A Victorian schoolroom is a cold dark place where humans should not be because it is a vault. A vault is usually used to store things such as Facts or prisoners, the pupils are prisoners of the 'Gradgrind Philosophy'.

  2. In this essay I will be talking about the education in the Victorian era ...

    He sounds like a man that will choke children to make sure they do what he wants although he does come across as the more quiet man in the opening chapters. . You can tell by both their backgrounds you can tell that they equally agree on the idea rationalism

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