Book the Second: Reaping: Chapters 1—4 Coketown lay shrouded in a haze of its own. Even though writers of the period protested human degradation under modern industrialism, the main factor in improvement of conditions for labor was not outside sympathy but the initiative taken by the workers themselves. In 1846, the prime minister, Sir Robert Peel, led the repeal of the Corn Laws of 1815. Gradgrind's old pupils, Bitzer, who has been brainwashed by his education of facts, almost prevents Tom's escape, but thanks to the cunning of the circusmaster, Tom manages to evade Bitzer's clutches and escapes to another country. As a result, the youngest Gradgrind daughter, raised both by the factual Gradgrind and the fanciful Sissy, represents the best of both worlds. Tom is now a dissolute, lazy young man, very much in debt and inclined to a sulky attitude in front of everyone.
They know neither how to love nor how to be happy, and sense that there is something very wrong with the way they are living their lives. Bounderby before he married Louisa and was then unceremoniously kicked out, watches the progression of his seduction of Louisa with glee. Sparsit was once Bounderby's housekeeper. Like other writers of his times, Dickens feared that industry, not only would destroy much of the natural world, but also would cause human lives, including mental processes, to become overly mechanized. He believed that these behaviors would be lost in an economic system that claims that people should act only according to their self-interest.
Utilitarian thinkers were threatening to slowly but surely replace older Judeo-Christian ideas of morality with more statistically based explanations of what people should do for themselves, for one another, and for society. Although he is not a factory owner, Mr. Indeed, Dickens suggests that Mr. Until 1832 the old Tudor list of boroughs was still in use. As Louisa prepares to become a bride, another resident of Coketown wants to end his marriage.
Thus, according to critics, Dickens' Hard Times is a relentless indictment of the callous greed of the Victorian industrial society and its misapplied utilitarian philosophy. Bounderby's home, he runs into an old woman, who for some reason is very interested to hear any news about Mr. As Harthouse becomes more enrapt with Louisa, Tom offers more and more secrets until he finally falls into a stupor. He has not left out of ill will, but because he thinks that she will have a better life without him as her guardian. Sparsit witnesses Harthouse declaring his love for Louisa, and Louisa agrees to meet him in Coketown later that night.
Pegler is really his loving mother, whom he has forbidden to visit him: Bounderby is not a self-made man after all. A mechanized mind clearly would lack creativity, and so Dickens' themes about the imagination and industrialization are tightly intertwined. Dumbstruck and penitent, her father tries to catch her as she falls in a faint on the floor. Without realizing it, Tom is laying the seeds for a potential affair between Harthouse and his sister. When Victoria became queen, there were four hundred and thirty-eight offenses punishable by death. Summary This chapter is one of character portrayal.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. Under this law, children between the ages of nine and thirteen could not work for more than nine hours a day. Everyone else has fallen under the sway of dullness but Louisa has managed to keep a spark of the interesting alive. The doctrine of laissez-faire let alone , first projected by Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, was later elaborated upon by Jeremy Bentham and T. These characters illustrate Dickens' concerns with the imagination, which according to English Romantic thinking, takes precedence over rational thinking.
Man, represented en masse as the laboring class, rose in power and prosperity and gave his voice to government. Bounderby's factory workers, restless with their bad lot and stirred on by the fiery words of a sleazy union orator named Slackbridge, decide to form a union. In the first few chapters of the novel, Mr. Following its publication, there were three schools of thought concerning Man's origin: first, Darwin's evidence did not justify his conclusions; therefore, nothing had changed in religious beliefs regarding origin and creation. He blames the children's classmate, Sissy Jupe, the daughter of a circus performer, for piquing the children's interest in carnivals. Bounderby recoils, and it is revealed that Mrs. Thinking of Rachael makes his long days happy, while he works the mechanized loom at the factory owned by Bounderby, the person Stephen turns to for advice about ending his marriage.
Gradgrind is very pleased and he kisses his daughter on the forehead. Gradgrind to clear his good name, because it was Tom, who committed the robbery. Gradgrind much financial and social success. Gradgrind, having learned his lesson the hard way, devotes the rest of his life to faith, hope, and charity instead of facts. The town library was sometimes the source of Gradgrind's dismaywhen readers opted for literature rather than geometry and drama instead of statistics.
In the nineteenth century, both religion and science affected the thought and the literature of the period. Sparsit, and she attempts to flatter him. After he asks Bounderby for help on the matter, Mr. It is a difficult decision for Sissy to make but at the urging of Josephine Sleary, Sissy chooses to leave Pegasus's Arms and join the Gradgrinds. In addition to the theme of imagination in Hard Times, Dickens created the theme focused on unchecked industrialization.
In this section, she uses Bitzer to gain useful information about the other bank employees. The demands of the Chartist Movement were the abolition of property qualifications for members of Parliament, salaries for members of Parliament, annual election of Parliament, equal electoral districts, equal manhood suffrage, and voting by secret ballot. Nevertheless, she manages to ascertain that Bitzer believes young Tom to be a horrible employee. Gradgrind believes that human nature can be measured, quantified, and governed entirely by rational rules. Sissy saves the day again: she tells Tom to hide with her father's old circus company, and from there Mr. Poor Stephen… So, for those of you who are broke as a joke, you might find shared comfort in knowing that, throughout history, folks have suffered due to economic hardship. How could you give me life, and take from me all the inappreciable things that raise it from the state of conscious death? As he resignedly leaves Mr.