How does the Victorian era tie in to the setting of Hard Times?
The Victorian era is reflected in the economic situation of the factory workers in Coketown. They work very hard for very low pay and have no benefits or job security. Many feel they have no alternative but to organize into labor unions and strike to try to gain a better work situation. Dickens is accurate about the plight of the urban poor and the sometimes brutal conditions the workers faced. He also depicts the growth of the labor movement in his time period as people reacted against the abuses in the factory system.
Before the Victorian age, England was largely an agrarian country, meaning most people worked as farm labor. This was also not a good situation for the poorer workers, but the sets of problems posed by industrialism, such as the filth and disease of overcrowded urban settings and the lack of the rhythm of work and rest that farm labor offered, were new. People weren't sure how to deal with these situations, because they had never been faced with them before. In the old...
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