Is the Industrial Revolution the real villain in Hard Times?

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The Industrial Revolution certainly provides an appropriate backdrop for the exercise of serial villainy. Most of the characters in Hard Times have, to some extent, been corrupted by the rapid development of industrial capitalism—morally, spiritually, and economically. In the villainous character of Mr. Bounderby we have the epitome of the dark side of the Industrial Revolution with its rampant greed, exploitation, and crass materialism. Bounderby lives in the lap of luxury while his impoverished workforce slaves away to keep him in a position to which he's become...

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