What is the comprehensive summary of "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens?

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bmadnick's profile pic

bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Enotes has an extensive summary and analysis that will answer any question you may have. Since I don't have the space here to provide you with an extensive answer, I can give you part of what enotes includes in their one-page summary. For more, go to the site below.

Thomas Gradgrind runs a school where he fills the pupils with as much knowledge as he can. His two children, Tom and Louisa, go to the school as well, and Gradgrind makes no exceptions for them at the school. Two other children, Sissy and Bitzer, also play an important role in the story. Gradgrind's children are not treated with love growing up, so they mature into people who are incapable of feelings for others. As an adult, Louisa marries one of her father's friends, Josiah Bounderby, who is at least thirty years older than her. She doesn't love him at all. Tom, her brother, steals from Bounderby's bank and blames another man, Blackpool. Things look bad for Blackpool, and he dies going back to town to try and clear his name. Tom's guilt in the stolen money is revealed, and Louisa goes back to her father's home. Louisa makes her father see what his type of education has done to her and her brother. Bounderby must legally separate from Louisa, and Tom leaves the country with the circus.

When you go to the site below, click on "Summary and Analysis" on the right side, and you will see a list of the chapters of the book.


linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Hard Times is a novel, not a play. If you are asking for a comprehensive summary so that you won't have to read the book, I can't help you. You're going to have to do that work for yourself. If, however, you need help understanding what's going on in the plot or what a character says or aspects of the author's style, then I'll be glad to give you a hand.

That said, you will find a brief summary and character analysis at the sites linked below.

Good luck! And thanks for using eNotes.

[eNotes PTB, you don't have to pay me for this one.]


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