Charles Dickens' Hard Times

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Charles Dickens' Hard Times Many characters in the novel are victims of hard times as a result of many factors. These include the lack of money, the education system, the industrialisation in the area and the social injustices of the Victorian era. The novel is divided into three books: sowing, reaping and garnering. The names of these books have biblical references. ‘Ae ye sow, so shall ye reap’ New Testament This means that there are consequences to all your actions, this idea features strongly in the novel. In the first book ‘sowing’, the actions of the characters were described for example the pragmatic education system. In the second book ‘reaping’, the consequences of these actions are described, and in the third book ‘garnering’, the consequences are explored more, along with the final outcome of these events. In the novel, Mr Gradgrind causes and suffers from hard times. He is a very rigid character in addition to being ‘a man of fact and calculations’. He causes hard times for others, including his family, with his pragmatic education system. We discover his attitudes to schooling from the very first chapter when he says: ‘In this life, we want nothing but facts, sir; nothing but Facts’ This concept is based upon utilitarianism. This is the idea that nothing except useful and practical things are wanted in life, and this causes many of Dickens’ characters hard times. They thought these concepts would provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people but it only benefited the rich, the poor sill suffered. He tries to inflict this system onto Sissy but he ends up learning a lesson from her. Towards the end of the novel he realises that he has not given his children what the... ... middle of paper ... ...e goes on to become a very famous author who was very critical of lives, industrialisation and money; all of these are explored in hard times. Finally, Dickens’ experiences as a child came out in a convincing portrayal of what was wrong with the Victorian society. He was a critic to his time and from his novels we can learn a great deal about the Victorian era. Many of the characters in the novel experience hard times as a result of many factors. Stephen Blackpool is the innocent victim in the novel; he suffers greatly through no fault of his own. He is kind and trustworthy yet he is abused. Other characters such as Mrs Sparsit and Bitzer enjoy causing hard times for others. Some suffer more than others; but Dickens uses his characters to explore the hard times of the era. In conclusion, many of Dickens’ characters suffer as a result of numerous causes.

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