Hard Times Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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How would you define Mr. Gradgrind as a tragic figure in Hard Times by Charles Dickens?

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In Hard Times, Charles Dickens presents the sad, exaggerated Utilitarian philosophy of Thomas Gradgrind as a sort of tragedy. More specifically, Dickens examines how Gradgrind’s staunch pedagogical approach negatively affects his children, especially Louisa. Gradgrind is initially shown as a strict, Utilitarian caricature who emphasizes facts and rote memorization over imagination and critical thinking. Dickens opens chapter two by detailing Gradgrind’s unfortunate personality:

“A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and...

(The entire section contains 305 words.)

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