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How does Dickens inform the reader of his negative view on education in the opening chapters of Hard Times?

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  • Essay length: 2422 words
  • Submitted: 16/10/2008
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University Degree Classical Studies

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How does Dickens inform the reader of his negative view on education in the opening chapters of Hard Times?

Throughout the opening chapters of Hard Times Dickens clearly expresses his concerns for the education system at the time. Set in the 1850's - the middle of the Industrial Revolution - Hard Times describes the school as a rationalist place were the schoolroom is a ' monotonous vault' were children are taught only 'facts'' The way that Dickens describes the education clearly shows he is against it and that a romanticist education is better. The reader is forced to agree with him.

The first paragraph of Hard Times uses the repetition of the 'Facts'. Dickens dislike for the rationalist education is shown in the first sentence, where he uses a large capital letter in the phrase 'Now what I want is facts'. The word now is an imperative, which shows that Gradgrind is very controlling. By using the phrase the reader is almost immediately aware of Gradgrind's fascination with 'Facts' and that he has no reasoning and us always right, even when he is wrong.

Dickens continues to show his anxiety for the education system by

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