Thoughts And Notes On Dicken's Portrait Of Industrial Society In His Novel "Hard Times" By Charles Dickens. Good Starting Point. Includes Quotes + Refs Which May Be Helpful.

1423 words - 6 pages

Thoughts and Notes for an Essay Discussing Dicken's portrait of Industrial Society in his novel "Hard Times"Edition used.Dickens, Charles. Hard Times, ed. Kate Flint, London: Penguin Books, 1995.(It's a good starting point for writing an essay)- Dickens 'is unmistakably possessed by a comprehensive vision, one in which the inhumanities of Victorian civilisation are seen as fostered and sanctioned by a hard philosophy, the aggressive formulation of an inhuman society' (F. R Leavis)- Believed that the problem of industrial cities resulted from the poor education children received. Mainly due to the teaching of fact without fancy. Quotes that can be used to back up this statement- "Facts alone" (p.1)- "Stubborn Fact" (p.1)- "Town built of fact, fact, fact" (p.28)- "Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life" (p.9)- Also apparent in the characterisations of Gradgrind, Bounderby and Bitzer.- Gradgrind is the head of the school, and aims to extrapolate any sense of imagination in the children. He is described as "Thomas Gradgrind, sir. A man of realities. A man of fact and calculations" (p.10). An example of this is his treatment of his children when he finds they have been at the Circus. The school and circus create contrasting worlds'. School as the world of fact, and the circus as the world of fancy. Also again mirrored in his treatment of Sissy Jupe when he asks her to describe a horse. She has been around horses all her life and Gradgrind scoffs at her when she is unable to do it. He then asks Bitzer to describe it, and he gives a description devoid of emotion, bascially stating that a horse is a "graminivorous quadraped"(p.12). He then goes on to furthur embarrass Sissy Jupe by asking whether or not she would "carpet your room - or your husband's room, if you were a grown woman, and had a husband - with representations of flowers" (p. 13). Sissy does not waver and states that she would because she is fond of flowers. He then goes on to give a pompous speech about how all things need to be governed and regulated by fact, and the ills of fancy. A good quote to illustrate his smugness is "You don't find foreign birds and butterflies come and perch of your crockery" (p.14).- Bitzer is set up as the honour student embodying the fact, fact, and fact ideology. An excellent product of the "system" (p.276). He always deals with everything in a matter of fact approach, even in his dealings with his own mother ... "a young man of the steadiest principal ... on his father's death ... this excellent young economist had asserted the right of settlement for her (his mother), with such steadfast adherence to the principle of the case, she had been shut up in the work house ever since" (p. 153). This treatment of his own mother shows his lack of emotional capacity, which has taken years at the Gradgrind School to mould. Bitzer is Dicken's example of the product of fact without fancy.Sissy Jupe ends up...

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