Dickens Hard Times Essay Questions

” In this analogy, the ills of suppressing emotion and fancy become disturbingly concrete; for someone to endure a twisted, crippled fancy could possibly be presumed as bad or worse than possessing none at all, and this potential hazard is manifested later in the novel.Next to Tom and Louisa, Sissy Jupe is another character in Hard Times who, perhaps most acutely, feels the oppressions of prohibited fancy in Gradgrind’s schoolroom.

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Utilitarianism was a prevalent viewpoint during this period of industrial frenzy, for it embraced the values of practicality and efficiency; and the success and survival of the participants of industrial society often depended on these standards.

Dickens was disgusted with the single-mindedness of his society and with the dreary, inanimate atmosphere that accompanied it.

In his novel Hard Times, an ongoing struggle ensues between the ideas of ‘fact’ and ‘fancy’– or the ‘head’ and ‘heart.’ The rivalry between these philosophies is a central theme to the Hard Times, not to mention a fundamental crux of human existence as well.

Should an individual base his life on fact and rationality, or should he live by the whims of his imagination and fancy, following his heart?

In addition to his firm commitment to everything factual, Gradgrind himself physically personifies the ideas fact and practicality.

Dickens uses abundant imagery to give descriptions of Gradgrind’s physical appearance, which is decidedly severe and methodical, including his “square forefinger,” “square wall of a forehead”–as if the shape of a square itself denotes the very notion of ‘fact’–and eyes which “found commodious cellarage in two dark caves.” Later his face is more generally described as “unbending” and “utilitarian,” and on the whole, every aspect of his appearance serves to emphasize his rigid devotion to cold facts and his thorough disregard of any sort of non-factual nonsense.This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service.You can view samples of our professional work here.Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.Summary: Explores the thematic opposition between fact and fancy, or the head and the heart in Charles Dickenss novel Hard Times.Dickens employs more imagery to describe the tedious existence of the Gradgrind children under their father, saying that “life at Stone Lodge went monotonously round like a piece of machinery,” and Tom later describes Louisa as stuffed full of “dry bones and sawdust” by their father. M’Choakumchild, a teacher at the school, is another individual who is characterized figuratively by Dickens.Although his name is more than ample evidence to confirm his detrimental effect on the children, there is further evidence of the harmful nature of his methods.The characters begin to “sow” or plant their identities, and we can now see the framework of the first book. Due to studies, the English Parliament tried to bring about reforms in working conditions to ease some of the poverty and other problems they were facing.In the second book, we can see that the characters are beginning to “reap” what sowed in the Also, during this time there was an increase in the number of immigrants, which resulted in the increase of diseases and hunger for many people in the laboring class. They came up with the Health Act on 1802, the Reform Bill in 1832, and various other acts and bills.Dickens advances this theme persistently throughout the Hard Times, employing frequent use of descriptive imagery and metaphor throughout novel to animate the conflict between Fact and Fancy, and the result of this emphasis is a broader, encompassing critique of industrialized society in general.Dickens most clearly addresses fact and fancy through his portrayal of the education system in Coketown.


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