Essay on Disapproval of the Education System in Dickens' Hard Times

Essay on Disapproval of the Education System in Dickens' Hard Times

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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, sadnes...


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...as so light eyed and light haired that the self same rays appeared to draw out of him what little colour he ever possessed’. I can see that the reason behind Bitzer’s dull look id down to him being drained of his imagination by Gradgrind. Dickens creates Bitzer as he is the opposite of Sissy and he has had his imagination banished.

The title of the novel is ‘Hard Times’, from reading and reviewing the first two chapters I can see why Dickens chose to call the novel ‘Hard Times’ as this illustrates exactly what the children were going through. I believe Dickens chose to write ‘Hard Times’ to get his point of view across. And from what he hoped he achieved and that’s why 21st Century schools are different. My essay illustrates what Dickens was saying. Finally I agree with what Dickens wrote, he wrote a enthusiastic novel that proved the utilitarian system wrong.

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