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GCSE: Hard Times

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  1. English/English Literature Coursework Joint Folder

    Dickens is keen to depict his Victorian contemporary world of Coketown in an essentially satirical context. It is emblemed with certain thematic issues including religion, the nature of employment and education, which follow course throughout the book. This surreal caricature of the Victorian landscape contrasts with Lodge's realistically styled piece. Lodge's passage, which holds a fictional veil over the names of "Rummidge and the Dark Country", is clearly intended to represent Birmingham and the Black Country. In Hard Times it can be expected that Dickens wanted to emphasize Coketown as the "worst about Industrial Britain". What purpose would be privileged to do this?

    • Word count: 2530
  2. Title: How does Dickens present the education system in Hard Times?

    At the end of the day, the education was worthless because most of the children died in the workhouse. Dickens used Hard Times to criticise the society for failing so many of its children. Dickens argues against a mode of factory style, grad-grinding production that exterminates the fun out of life. He believes that education should not be a thing of going through volumes of head-breaking questions and being put through an immense variety of paces. Hard Times not only suggests that fancy is as important as fact, but it continually calls into question the difference between fact and fancy.

    • Word count: 2339
  3. What techniques does Dickens use to show his views of the Victorian society, in particular, education and its effect on young people? What would be Dickens' view of education today?

    Thomas Gradgrind champions this system and has raised his children, Tom and Louisa (and their siblings) this way. His long-time friend, Bounderby, a factory owner, also appreciates the system. Louisa is a misled, miserable girl and Tom is an ambitious and unwholesome youth. When a circus performer's daughter, Sissy Jupe joins the Gradgrind School, she shakes things up a little by her interpretation of life other than of hard facts. Her father has outlasted his usefulness with the circus and he runs away, deserting her. Gradgrind takes pity on her and takes her in as one of his servants.

    • Word count: 2135
  4. What does Dickens have to say about Education and Industrialism in the Opening Chapters of "Hard Times"

    This is the same for children: if they are brought up by just facts then when they are adults they're not going to be healthy mentally emotionally for the creative side hasn't been fostered. "Now, what I want is, facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else and root out everything else." In this quotation from the first line of the book, the word "facts" is repeated to emphasise the heart of the speaker's attitude to teaching children.

    • Word count: 1494
  5. Do you think that the characters in Hard Times have credibility? Are they fully developed or are they merely ciphers representing philosophical ideas?

    Right away, the reader is given an insight into the workings of Coketown and to Dickens excessive use of hyperbole. The word "emphasis" is repeated six times in one paragraph, this not only gets the point across but also gives us an insight into Thomas Gradgrind's personality. However, in the chapters to follow, Gradgrind's utilitarian philosophy begins to show sighs of being flawed and weak. Young Tom and Louisa Gradgrind who have been brought up in a life based firmly on facts defy their upbringing by visiting the circus.

    • Word count: 1975
  6. Look carefully at the opening chapters of 'Hard Times' and explore some of the ways in which Dickens' attitudes to education are presented in this chapter.

    He gets these views across through his themes, his presentation and his use of language. By using these he attacks the government and industrialists specifically and effectively. Dickens presents the teachers and inspector in a negative light and reveals his ideas and opinions on education through his presentation of them. The first point at which he does this is through his presentation of Mr Gradgrind. Dickens presents Gradgrind as a strong, harsh person; everything about him is emphasised and he repeats this word too, he does this to illustrate his own point.

    • Word count: 2051
  7. "With careful attention to 2-3 episodes in Hard Times, show how Dickens presents and criticises the Gradgrindian view of education".

    "I was born with inflammation of the lungs, and of everything else... everybody of all ages knocked me about and starved me". Mr Bounderby is not as demanding but boastful and more extreme about his view and how he grew up. This gives a perfect team to run the system of education. From the irony and exaggeration used in the description of both the two leaders way of looking at the school children "looking into all the little vessels ranged before him, on after another, to see what thy contained" it seams that this view will cause problems as the children grow old as they will become factual pages of a book.

    • Word count: 726
  8. 'Look carefully at the first two chapters of Hard Times and explore some of the ways in which Dickens's attitudes to education are presented in these chapters'

    The divisions would have also been very symbolic to a Victorian reader as they are related to the biblical quote: "whatsoever you sow you shall reap". This would have instantly been recognised as most people were very religious during the time in which the novel was published. By using this, Dickens therefore ensured had the reader's attention and agreement of his opinion. Also the novel was separated further because it was serialised into weekly parts for a Victorian magazine. Consequently, each chapter was written to end on a cliff-hanger because this would have given the novel impact for a weekly reader.

    • Word count: 1277
  9. In this essay I will be talking about the education in the Victorian era compared to the education students receive today. I will also be looking at the characters in the opening chapters, Dickens' use of language and he wider historical context.

    This was because utilitarianism was put into act. The majority of people wanted the facts to be taught to children and was the way things had to be. This is because utilitarianism education was based on an idea to please the most quantity of people. The first two characters we meet in the book seem to support the idea of rationalism greatly. Mr Gradgrind and Mr Choakumchild are the names of these first people we encounter. The fact that they are all by themselves suggest to us that they are not ordinary men.

    • Word count: 1579
  10. Look carefully at the opening two chapters of Hard Times and explain some of the ways in which Dickens' attitudes to education are presented.

    Dickens' wrote Hard Times when society was changing and opinion was frowned on and fact only was needed. Gradgrind and M'Choakumchild are both introduced in the first two chapters and are alike in some ways, e.g. they both believe facts are all the children need, although the descriptions of the men are very different. The second paragraph of the first chapter is the introduction to Gradgrind and where he is described thoroughly and it is detailed. He is first introduced and described as 'the speaker'. Dickens' builds up the picture of Gradgrind by using repetition, he keeps repeating "the emphasis".

    • Word count: 1186
  11. Exploring some of the ways in which Dickens's Attitudes to Education are presented in the early Chapters of Hard Times

    However, Dickens does not describe Mr. Gradgrind using factual language. He uses imaginative and descriptive language involving negative words. He says, "...his very neckcloth, trained to take him by the throat with an unaccommodating grasp, like a stubborn fact, as it was, - all helped the emphasis." The negative words in this sentence such as 'stubborn' and 'unaccommodating' suggests that Dickens does not like Mr. Gradgrind's attitude towards education and has a totally different opinion. When Sissy Jupe is unable to describe a horse, Mr.

    • Word count: 1091
  12. How Does Dickens explore the conflict between "The Wisdom of the Heart and the wisdom of the Head"?

    In the book, the word "fact" has been emphasized by always spelling it with a capital later. We later learn that the man speaking these words is none other then Mr. Gradgrind. The character of Thomas Gradgrind undergoes a dramatic change throughout the course of the novel, and it is he that suggests to the reader, the concept of "the wisdom of the heart, and the wisdom of the head". As I previously stated, in the beginning of the novel, (the first two books), Gradgrind comes across, as having the philosophy that logical thinking is the only way things can be understood.

    • Word count: 1032
  13. Compare and Contrast the role of Character and Characterization in the novels 'Hard Times' and 'Love on the Dole'.

    There are three main characters in 'Hard Times' that display realistic qualities, moreover representing three different socio-economic positions; from lower class to upper class. Therefore, it is essential to witness the characters of 'Hard Times' as more than just caricatures for an allegorical novel; it is important that they are real, thinking, breathing, and feeling people, who are driven by impulse, desire and acceptance. In contrast, in 'Love on the Dole' Greenwood delves into the sub-conscious minds of his characters using techniques such as stream of consciousness; stream of consciousness that is present throughout the novel, as the reader appears to grow up with Harry or through the presentation of Larry as an outsider.

    • Word count: 2094
  14. Hard Times by Charles Dickens.

    It is modelled on Manchester, England, one of the most notoriously unliveable factory cities of the time. Education in coketown is a process by which innocence and imagination are rooted out of the children so they will grow up into soulless Human Beings who know nothing but fact. Dickens is a master at using overstatement to make a point, but the coketown schoolroom is drawn form fact than fancy. It is based on a type of schooling referred to either as the Monitorial System or as the Lancastrian System after its originator, a London teacher named Joseph Lancaster.

    • Word count: 967
  15. Who in the novel do you think had the hardest time? (Charles Dickens' Novel "Hard Times").

    His wife is a drunkard and keeps leaving and them coming back he paid her to go and during the novel she comes back and that's where his life takes a migration south because he is in love with some one else. Part way through the novel he goes to see Mr Bounderby for advice on how he might be able to get rid of he and during their convocation Stephan starts to lose hope. "If I do her any hurt, Sir there's a law to punish me?

    • Word count: 685
  16. Charles Dickens - A disscussion on "HardTimes".

    I think that Dickens puts across his views on how children should be educated by the way he describes Mr.Gradgrind in the first chapter. For instance he says, "the speaker's square wall of a forehead," and, "the speaker's mouth, which was wide, thin, and hard set," which help to show Dickens' opinion of Mr.Gradgrind and his ideas about facts. I think this description of Mr.Gradgrind is also written to describe his mind as well. This is because all of his features are described as being hard and square, just like his opinion on how children should be taught; clear and hard.

    • Word count: 2904
  17. Character Study of Stephen Blackpool From the Novel Hard Times.

    In addition Dickens uses few other techniques pertaining to the language aspects. He offers Blackpool a dialect, which is filled with elongated vowel sounds e.g. "Nay" instead of "No", "doon", "among", "droonken". It definitely can be said that the "oo" morpheme does create distinctiveness to his speech from all the other characters in the novel. The fact that Blackpool's language is written phonetically, gives words more depth, and in some respects highlights his social class in the Victorian society i.e.

    • Word count: 1268
  18. Hard Times by Charles Dickens - How he mocked the educational system in the 1900's.

    "Stick to facts," The teacher Mr. Gradgrind is hooked on facts and he believes that everything evolves around facts and only facts. He even believes that to fancy something is a fact and to have taste is a fact. ! "We hope to have , before long, a board of fact, composed of commissioners of fact, who will force people to be a people o fact, and nothing but fact. You must discard the word fancy altogether. You have nothing to do with it .

    • Word count: 1162
  19. Hard Times - explore several issues from Dickenss point of view on Victorian Society, including education, marriage, industrialisation, the relationship between the middle class and the working class, and how Dickens uses different methods and techniqu

    He created this character because he is wanting us to react in a certain emotion and feeling. A good example of this is when Gradgrind talks to Louisa about the marriage proposal, "You have been well trained, you are not impulsive, you are not romantic, you are accustomed to view everything from the strong dispassionate ground of reason and calculation. From that ground alone, I know you will view and consider what I am going to communicate." This tells us how Gradgrind brings up Louisa and how hard life is for her.

    • Word count: 3142
  20. The Themes and Issues Introduced in 'Book The First' Of "Hard Times".

    In book the first, facts and figures are introduced right at the beginning. An authoritative voice is laying down the law. 'Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts' The speaker's appearance is described as his voice is 'inflexible, dry and dictatorial'; his hair is 'bristled'. These descriptions give us emphasis to the importance this person places on facts. The children resemble rows of: '...and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of little vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim.'

    • Word count: 1376
  21. Comparisons between Charles Dickens's Hard Times and Langston Hughes's Thank You M'am.

    Her name is Sissy Jupe. She is very shy and quiet, and vulnerable. Mr Gradgrind starts by calling her "girl number twenty," instead of Sissy. W hen she says her dad works in the circus, "the ring" Mr Gradgrind replies "We don't want to know about that in here." He is scared that the children might get ideas and an imagination, fun and laughter. I think Dickens wants me to be on Sissy's side because she is scared and vulnerable to Mr G who is big and demolishing. We also meet Bitzer. He is very different from Sissy.

    • Word count: 1375
  22. How does Dickens write about Childhood In the Opening two chapters of Hard Times?

    This meant that the population of cities increased causing them to become overcrowded. This is how Coketown is portrayed later in the novel. Factories were usually found in the bigger cities, it was in these bigger cities most work could be found. Factory work would be demanding and dull as most of it would be operating machinery, so the labourers had to be hardworking and prepared to work long hours as more produce would be needed if there was a larger population. Dickens has included this issue in the story. Coketown is a perfect example of a typical industrial town.

    • Word count: 1984
  23. With Regards to the text as a whole, how do the opening two chapters of the "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens reflect the social time in which Dickens wrote?

    Charles Dickens eventually made money by working for the newspaper and publishing novels. The novel is set in the imaginary city of Coke Town which is an industrial city supposedly inspired by Preston and Manchester. He decided to set the novel in the city of Preston when he made a visit to the city and saw "Hard times." The main aspect he noticed was the "Hard times" children experienced at school. The first two chapters of the novel emphasize the opposition between fantasy and fact and how children were treated at school in the 19th century.

    • Word count: 1399
  24. What techniques does Dickens employ in his depiction of Mrs Sparsit and what is her function in the novel "Hard Times"?

    He also refers to her as "Robinson Crusoe" when she is spying on Louisa and Harthouse and as the "Bank Dragon" which all contributes to developing her as a menacing, scheming, pathetic character. In the chapter "Mrs Sparsit", there is humour in the fact that by addressing Bounderby as "Sir", rather then honouring him she is honouring herself. Mrs Sparsit and Bounderby make a likely couple as they both enjoy complementing each other to exaggerate their respective positions in life.

    • Word count: 1072
  25. Look carefully at the first four chapters of "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens and explore some of the ways in which Dickens's attitudes are presented.

    Firstly his first name "Thomas" was taken of that of Thomas the doubter in the bible. His surname "Gradgrind" suggests that he is not a particular pleasant person and that he grinds people down. In this case are his students of his school who fall victim to his teacher's monotonous teaching of the grinding of facts into their young minds. "The speaker, and the schoolmaster, and the third grown person present, all backed a little, and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of little vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim."

    • Word count: 2936

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