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Charles Dickens' Novel, Hard Times Essay

445 words - 2 pages

Charles Dickens' novel, Hard Times, is a story of two struggles--the struggle offact versus imagination and the struggle between two classes. It takes place inCoketown, and industrial-age English city. The novel is divided into two sections. Onedeals with the struggle of upper class members of society and their struggle to learn thevalue of imagination. The other involves a working class man who is trapped by those inthat upper class who trap him in a dreary existence. Thomas Gradgrind, the father of Louisa, Tom, and June not only ...view middle of the document...

One wouldtrample all over them and they would end up dying. In Hard Times, two classes are relevant in Coketown. The upper class, whichwere few in numbers, are dominant over the middle class, which is larger in numbers.Stephen Blackpool represents the working class. He is a warm-hearted man trapped inthes run down society. He feels he deserves this mediocre lifestyle. Blackpool wasoriginally employed under Bounderby, but is fired for standing up for his beliefs. Thistype of behavior was totally unacceptable during the period of time as it involvedimagination and independance. Bounderby portrayed himself as a self-made man,whenin fact, he had eveything handed to him with a silver spoon. His mother gave him thevery best of everything, including a wonderful education. This demonstrates that theupper and middle classes were not just two different classes, but two different worlds.The book concludes with the upper class characters being forced into accepting thatsomething other than facts exist. Thomas Gradgrind has given up his philosophy of factsby allowing his daughter back into his house. In conclusion, the entire Gridgrind system of facts proves to be a failure, and helearns that emotions and imagination are the controlling forces in everyones life.

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