Industrialization and Utilitarianism in Dickens' Hard Times Essay

Industrialization and Utilitarianism in Dickens' Hard Times Essay

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Industrialization and Utilitarianism in Dickens' Hard Times

  Charles Dickens uses his fictitious town in Hard Times to represent the industrialization of England at that time or close to it. Most of this representation, however, isn't accurately described compared the way things really were during industrialization. It is important to remember throughout this paper that not only is Hard Times a work of fiction, it was meant to be a satire, a parody of ideas and ways of thinking at the time. In most respects, it wasn't meant to accurately describe the way things were.


Dickens covers up his parody with a realistic and extremely accurate depiction of the typical industrial town. Coketown is described to be the very picture of conformity, with all the buildings looking like one another. "It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage" (Dickens 30). It also isn't just the factories that look this way; the bank and even Bounderby's house look just like the rest of them. "The Bank offered no violence to the wholesome monotony of the town. It was another red brick house, with black outside shutters, green inside blinds, a black street-door up two white steps, a brazen door-plate, and a brazen door-handle full stop" (Dickens 117).


There is also the recurring image of the massive amount of smoke from all the factories. "It as a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves forever and ever, and never got uncoiled" (Dickens 30). "The Fairy Palaces burst into illumination before pale mo...

... middle of paper ...

... the book, the fact that it is a work of fiction makes this acceptable.


Works Cited

Dickens, Charles. Hard Times. Penguin Putnam: New York, 1997.

Gray, Robert. The factory question and industrial England, 1830-1860. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, Great Britain, 1996.

Joyce, Patrick. Visions Of The People: Industrial England and the question of class 1848-1914. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, Great Britain, 1991.

Marcus, Steven. Engels, Manchester, and the Working Class. Random House: New York, 1974.

Marshall, Dorothy. Industrial England 1776-1851. Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1973.

Rule, John. The Labouring Classes In Early Industrial England 1750-1850. Longman: New York, 1986.

Thomis, Malcolm I. The Town Labourer And The Industrial Revolution. Barnes & Noble: New York, 1974.


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