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Charles Dickens' Hard Times: A Look At Then And Now.

1832 words - 7 pages

Hard Times by Charles Dickens is a very dismal tale of Victorian England at the period of industrialization. In the novel, Dickens controversially depicts various injustices he sees happening within England during the Victorian Era and places them in Hard Times. The imaginary town in which the book takes place is called Coke town, but is actually based on the non-fictional town of Preston, England. Dickens stayed at Preston while Victorian workers went on strike. He wanted to creatively feed off their energy and struggle which he found inspiring, stating "I wanted to see what qualities they showed". (Preston: On Strike) Within Hard Time's Coke Town we witness the rise of big business, the suppression of women, a domination of Utilitarian views in education, and the class culture war through Dickens eyes.The British during the Victorian era are viewed as "repressed and over-confident" (The Reality of Victorians) to those who take a look back, but why look back when almost the same description can be said of us today? Even in our time are these same injustices taking place, just as they were in the Victorian novel Hard Times. The suppression of women, big businesses with massive control over people, Utilitarian views in education, and class struggles are still present today. The repression of humanity and over confidence of business has our world living in a modern Hard Times.In Hard Times we meet Mr. Bounderby. Bounderby is man who rose from rags to riches through the use of Capitalism. He has no problem bragging about his rise to power as a dominant figure in Coke Town, coming off as a huge egotistical braggart. As boss over the majority of working class Coke Town, he rules selfishly and insensitively, always reminding workers with high hopes "not to expect turtle soup and venison with a gold spoon". (Hard Times 54)In other words, he expects people to act reasonable and real, never to be disillusioned with hopes and dreams.Modern day Bounderbys exist today. For instance Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and the Hiltons, they all rose to power through big business. They now live lavishly off their workers, seemingly insignificant people that are muscle of their companies. These are the people who happen to do all the millionaire's work for them.In fact Big business has way too much control over the majority of the population. The million dollar corporations have so much money that they are able to sponsor presidential candidates in their run for the United States Presidency. They are buying their ideal government and supporting who they want within it. There is no difference between the Bounderbys of the Victorian age and the millionaires of today, despite the gap in time periods.With all the power gained by big business moguls, their wealth and status only creates class structures including the extremely rich and poor classes. In Hard Times, Mr. Bounderby represents the high class, rich socialite, constantly judging those who fall beneath him. While...

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