Charles Dickens' Hard Times

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Charles Dickens' Hard Times

Charles Dickens's Hard Times is one of the most important novels in the

Victorian Age. He presents an industrial society in nineteenth century

in England. In this age, England prospers in manufacture and trade

because of high technologies. It is also a time of trouble. Industrial

development causes terrible conditions of a working class. The workers

are poor and work hard. Women and children work for many hours.

Dickens also presents bad social condition through his work and also

shows lives of city people and industrial society in Coketown in

England. In Hard times, Dickens has a compassion for the workers and

calls for the readers' sympathy by showing the workers' hardships

through Stephen Blackpool, a worker who is honest, innocent, generous

and full of integrity. However, facing dead-end situations, Stephen

Blackpool is the most pathetic figure.

Stephen Blackpool is the most suffered and submissive worker. Although

he is good, skilful and diligent power-loom weaver, his life is not

much improved, but he has to work for survival. Dickens presents that

most of Coketown citizens are workers. He says that they are "

generically called ' the Hands'- a race who would have found more

favor with some people, if the Providence had seen fit to make them

only hands, or, like the lower creatures of the seashore, only hands

and stomachs- lived a certain Stephen Blackpool, for forty years of

age." Dickens comments on the terrible lives of workers. The word "

generically" presents that the workers can't rise in the world because

they have no education and have not enough money to make their lives

better and comfortable. Their children must face the hardship such as

working hard and ...

... middle of paper ...

...asks for

solution to improve the workers' lives because this is an important


The setting increases the compassion for Stephen. It is dark and

silent. Everybody mourns for him, and the darkness symbolizes sorrow

and death. This picture also shows Rachael's love for Stephen. She

kneels on the grass, clasp his hand and tries to comfort although he

hurts badly and is going to die.

This picture shows the relationship between Stephen Blackpool, his

wife and Rachael. Stephen and Rachael love each other, but he can't

divorce his wife because of the high expense in lawsuit that he can't

afford. Rachael is good and generous woman who takes care of Stephen's

wife. She is like an angel, light and shining star. On the contrary,

his wife is helpless and alcoholic. She increases Stephen's burden and

tries to commit suicide, but Rachael can save her life.
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