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Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.Summary: Explores the thematic opposition between fact and fancy, or the head and the heart in Charles Dickenss novel Hard Times.Dickens employs more imagery to describe the tedious existence of the Gradgrind children under their father, saying that “life at Stone Lodge went monotonously round like a piece of machinery,” and Tom later describes Louisa as stuffed full of “dry bones and sawdust” by their father. M’Choakumchild, a teacher at the school, is another individual who is characterized figuratively by Dickens.
The characters begin to “sow” or plant their identities, and we can now see the framework of the first book. Due to studies, the English Parliament tried to bring about reforms in working conditions to ease some of the poverty and other problems they were facing.
In the second book, we can see that the characters are beginning to “reap” what sowed in the Also, during this time there was an increase in the number of immigrants, which resulted in the increase of diseases and hunger for many people in the laboring class. They came up with the Health Act on 1802, the Reform Bill in 1832, and various other acts and bills.
Thomas Malthus and Adam Smith are two of the enlightened thinkers whose works and theories Dickens embraced in this novel.
Thomas Robert Malthus wrote an essay on the effects of population and the food supply titled "An Essay on the Principle of Population”.
The damaging repercussions of his educational torments are especially pronounced when Dickens compares him to “Morgiana in the Forty Thieves;” the teacher peers into “all the vessels ranged before him,” and Dickens’s narrator addresses him: “Say, good M’Choakumchild.
When from thy boiling store, thou shalt fill each jar brim full by-and-by, dost thou think that thou wilt always kill outright the robber Fancy lurking within–or sometimes only maim him and distort him!Explores the rivalry between these philosophies as a central theme to the Hard Times, as well as a fundamental crux of human existence.Charles Dickens lived in England during the 19th century, during a period of rapid economic growth when the industrial revolution was in full swing. Hard Times In the novel Hard Times, by Charles Dickens, we can immediately see the problems that occurred in England around the times period of the mid 18oo’s.Dickens shows us how the class system works and what the economy was then and what it would shape out to be.In addition to his firm commitment to everything factual, Gradgrind himself physically personifies the ideas fact and practicality.Dickens uses abundant imagery to give descriptions of Gradgrind’s physical appearance, which is decidedly severe and methodical, including his “square forefinger,” “square wall of a forehead”–as if the shape of a square itself denotes the very notion of ‘fact’–and eyes which “found commodious cellarage in two dark caves.” Later his face is more generally described as “unbending” and “utilitarian,” and on the whole, every aspect of his appearance serves to emphasize his rigid devotion to cold facts and his thorough disregard of any sort of non-factual nonsense.The people who lived in these houses were dependent on the government and were subject to inhumane treatment from their cruel supervisors.We can see how Dickens ties this aspect of the revolution into his book in the chapter where Stephen Blackpool is introduced (Dickens, chapter X).Just as Gadgrind rigorously enforces his utilitarian standards in his school, he is equally fervent in adhering to these principles in his own home.He genuinely believes that his ideals are essential to leading a successful, productive existence, and instructs his children accordingly, applying his “mechanical art and mystery of educating the reason without stooping to the cultivation of the sentiments and affections.” Louisa and Tom must absorb enormous amounts of factual knowledge from an early age, while, simultaneously, their father systematically represses and eradicates any notions of wonder or imagination that they might entertain, chiding them, “Never wonder! Gradgrind seeks through his parental guidance to elicit the same results as in his school–the transformation of children into machine-like workers, lacking in personality yet supposedly ideal for efficiently performing the monotonous, repetitive labors of industrial Coketown.