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This Is An Essay On How Dickens Portrays His View On Human Nature And Society In Chapter V, The Key Note: "Hard Times" By Charles Dickens

1877 words - 8 pages

HARD TIMES ESSAYExplore how Dickens presents his view of human nature and society in this extract. You should investigate his:* Use of language and style to create character and setting* Involvement of wider themes from the novel as a wholeDickens portrays the human nature of Coketown in a lot of different ways; he uses imagery to emphasise the idea that the mood of Coketown is a solitary, repetitive and unnatural place and that all the people that live in it are of this nature too, mechanised to suit the industrial needs of Coketown.He describes the town as "a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it". This suggests that the harsh working environment of Coketown has overtaken everything natural and even the red bricks of the buildings. The canal's water is depicted as "black" also emphasising the point of the industrialisation of Coketown. Another point is that even though the industrial system portrays work to be good and rewarding, in fact, all it does is pollute everything around it. Dickens uses sensory language to help the reader imagine the ghastliness of Coketown; "river that ran purple with ill smelling dye", "black canal" and "barbarous jangling of bells". This brings up a question: are the people of Coketown controlling the town, or the other way around? Their labour-intensive jobs have a firm hold on their lives. Dickens believes that work is polluting everything and it must be balanced out with amusement, fun, fancy and other pleasures of life.Coketown is illustrated as a "savage"; this is one of the many examples of metaphorical concepts and personification that Dickens uses in his language. Savages are thought of as people who are barbaric, ferocious, uncivilised and extreme: in this case Coketown is extreme about fact and how it must have power over everything. Coketown has been reduced to an uncivilised society; the dictionary definition for civilised is "having a high state of culture and development both social and technological". Coketown may have been technologically advanced and developed for the industrial age but the culture and society of the town have been fixed on fact, "sacred to fact". This suggestion of being focused on one thing is similar with primitive uncivilised societies who just devote their lives to a god, for example. Dickens' ironic style is also present in this metaphor for Coketown: Coketown being described like a "savage". Coketown may be sacred to fact but the result of their obsession with it is wealth and power, meaning their God is Mammon.Coketown is a dull monotonous place full of fact and work, no fancy or fun whatsoever; this is stressed by Dickens' repetitive style. "It contained several large streets all very like one another and many small streets still more like one another, inhabited by people equally like one another..." This reinforces the idea that Coketown revolves around fact, everything must be efficient and work well, nothing...

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