Using the first two chapters of Hard Times explore how Dickens shows his dislike to the education system

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Using the first two chapters of ‘Hard Times’ explore how Dickens shows his dislike to the education system

I will write an essay telling you about the way in which Charles Dickens disapproved of the education system, in the 19th Century. Dickens was a hopeful, courageous, imaginative and intelligent man and showed this through his mind blowing novels which include Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations and many more. It was to be in the eighteen hundreds that the government introduced a reform in the education system, this would include all working class children the right to go to school. Dickens gladly agreed that this was the right thing, but what Dickens didn’t agree with was the utilitarian system that involved teaching children nothing but facts. Dickens believed this was ridding the children of an imagination, something Dickens thought had to be endorsed in order for a good education, and he shows this in the novel ‘Hard Times’. Finally I will be focusing on why Dickens disliked the 19th Century education system, I will be using the first two chapters of ‘Hard Times’.

From reading the first two chapters it is quite obvious to the reader that Dickens is purposely using the word ‘facts’. In the eighteen hundreds teachers only taught facts, the teachers only believed facts were needed and so that’s what they planted. Dickens keeps saying facts because he wants to drill facts into the reader’s head, so they know how the school children felt when they had facts drilled into their heads.

Dickens wants to show through the names of the chapters, what his thoughts are towards the education system. Dickens calls the second chapter ‘Murdering the Innocents’. From the word ‘murdering’ I get thoughts of anger, sadness and ruthlessness. The word ‘innocents’ is a frail, weak word and represents the children’s vulnerable imagination. So Dickens wants the reader to think that the reader to think that the children’s imagination is being murdered by the fact loving teachers.

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The teachers are given dry, dubious names upon Dickens ill-bred view on the teachers and the education system. The first teacher Dickens introduces us to is ‘Mr Gradgrind’. Gradgrind is given a bad image by Dickens, but just by Gradgrinds name the reader can make their own image upon him. The word ‘grind’ is purposely used by Dickens, it is a tough, hostile word and from reading the rest of the chapter, it is as though Gradgrind is grinding facts into the children or grinding the imagination out of the children. The reader perceives Gradgrind as a nostalgic, old ...

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