Where does Dickens detail the ill effects of industrialization in Hard Times?

1 Answer | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would say that Dickens' detailing of the ill effects of industrialization lies in the depiction of Thomas Gradgrind's mentality and teaching to his children.  Dickens makes the unique argument that one of the most disastrous elements of the industrialization time period was that it ushered in a particular way of thoughts that created havoc in the lives of human beings.  Gradgrind's excessively methodical penchant for "fact not fancy" is a product of industrialization.  This characterization that Dickens offers is one in which individuals do not see outside of cold analysis, hard line facts, and economic desires for mergers and acquisitions.  When Louisa criticizes her father for failing to teach her anything of emotional intelligence and when Thomas sees his son having become morally bankrupts, Dickens has developed a stunningly convincing argument that one of the ill effects of industrialization was to perceive life in one way of thought.  This manner of thought is one that reduces the emotional complexity of life to something base and financially driven.  In this, Dickens is able to detail an ill effect, a destructive one, of industrialization.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,957 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question