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Hard Times Teaching Unit

Hard Times Teaching Unit

Excerpt From this Document

  • Assuming that Hard Times is an allegory, what might each of the following characters represent?

           Bounderby

           Mr. Gradgrind

           Mr. Childers

           Mr. Kidderminister

           Mr. Sleary

           Sissy

           Tom

           Bitzer

           Louisa

           Mrs. Sparsit

  • In what ways does Mrs. Sparsit unwittingly harm Bounderby?
  • The Notes at the beginning of the book discuss Charles Dickens’ life and life in theDickensian era. Answer the following questions based on the Notes. Why did Dickens support easier divorce laws? What impact did this novel have on the social issues of the time?
  • Read the table of contents which lists the chapter titles. Which titles are ironic? Which titles seem to point to Louisa’s potential decline into immorality?
  • List three vocabulary words describing Bounderby’s character.
  • Write a character sketch of Louisa. Be sure to include an explanation of why she isoften described as staring into fire.
  • What are the two main plot lines in the story? Discuss the ways each plot lineillustrates the following themes:

           An industrialized society sacrifices the welfare of the working class

           for economic gains.

           Children need more than a utilitarian education; they also need

           amusements and freedom to use their imaginations.

           Men and women of all social classes need a lawful way to obtain a

           divorce.

           Many of the upper class are unjustifiable arrogant, snobbish, lazy,

           and self-important.

  • Cite two instances of dramatic irony in the story.

About this Document

A teaching unit and individual learning packet from Prestwick House. Includes the following: comprehensive chapter-by-chapter study guides for students; questions suitable for essay topics or discussion; vocabulary lists; multiple-choice and essay test with answer key; introductory material from Prestwick House to familiarize both students and teachers with the work.

Tags: Hard Times, Lesson Plans, Literature, Prestwick House, Teaching Unit

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