Hard Times Questions and Answers

Hard Times

Fact and fancy represent radically different and largely irreconcilable worldviews in Hard Times. The former is represented by Mr. Gradgrind, the utilitarian pedant who insists on facts as being...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2020, 2:39 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

The title of Hard Times is significant because it shows exactly that: that the majority of the people in England, particularly those in the working classes, really were having a hard time. Take...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2017, 9:12 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

In Hard Times, Coketown is both a primary setting and a symbol of the novel’s themes. Charles Dickens makes the town come to life by describing multiple aspects of its inhabitants’ work and their...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2021, 5:43 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

Novels were usually released in three volumes in this time period. In Hard Times, the first volume or book is called "Sowing," the second "Reaping," and the third "Garnering." The section titles...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2019, 8:41 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Sowing means planting crops (seeds), reaping is harvesting the full-grown crops, and garnering is picking up the pieces that are left over after the harvest. Sowing and reaping are intimately...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2019, 1:36 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

One notable characteristic of the nineteenth century is that it was not dominated by a single worldview. Throughout the century, a large number of changes occurring at a rapid pace permanently...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2022, 4:09 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

Hard Times is a favorite Charles Dickens book. It's also one of his shortest and least acclaimed. Those with an unfavorable opinion often say that Dickens's concern with making a statement about...

Latest answer posted June 9, 2020, 2:16 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Hard Times is divided into three books, entitled respectively "The Sowing," "The Reaping," and "The Garnering." These titles correspond to three stages in a child's upbringing and education. The...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2019, 6:18 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

The moral of Hard Times is that a life built completely on the basis of facts and statistics is limited and unhappy. Gradgrind raises his children, Tom and Louisa, to value only money and to live...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2019, 1:47 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

Sissy Jupe and Louisa Gradgrind are in many was opposites in this novel, but they do share some commonalities. Sissy, the daughter of a circus clown, represents the world of imagination and magic...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2020, 3:43 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

M’Choakumchild is the name of a schoolteacher assigned to instruct Sissy Jupe in the fact-based education that Gradgrind supports. His name sounds like his role as a teacher: he is Mr....

Latest answer posted June 6, 2021, 11:48 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

Hard Times is a novel written by famed English writer and social critic Charles Dickens. It was first published in 1854, in Dickens’s weekly periodical magazine Household Words, in the form of a...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2019, 8:16 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

I am not really sure that there is any other way to describe the story of the Gradgrind family other than to say that it consisted of plenty of "Hard Times." The mere educational philosophy of...

Latest answer posted June 13, 2011, 5:44 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Sissy Jupe brings a ray of light and life into the serious and rationalistic world of the Gradgrinds and Coketown. The daughter of circus worker, she represents poetry, imagination, and pleasure....

Latest answer posted August 25, 2019, 1:17 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

The novel's main conflict has to do with Louisa's disastrous marriage to Mr. Bounderby and Tom's theft from Bounderby's bank. But the underlying conflict in Hard Times is the opposition of emotion...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2021, 1:07 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Thomas Gradgrind wants nothing but facts: "NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts." When he asks Girl #20 to tell the class what a horse is, she cannot come up...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2015, 7:07 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

Gradgrind calls himself a "man of facts and calculations." He wants his pupils to know nothing but the facts. He calls Sissy Jupe girl number twenty, because he believes education is primarily a...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2018, 2:11 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

In Hard Times, Charles Dickens presents a generally negative view of materialism as a driving force in the rapidly industrializing Victorian society. Dickens is especially hard on factory owners,...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2021, 9:39 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Charles Dickens, like William Shakespeare, used character names to conjure up certain perceptions of the characters in the reader's (or audience member's ) mind. In the case of Hard Times, some of...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2018, 8:43 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Dickens' creation of Gradgrind's teaching style seems to be a direct indictment of capitalism and a world where acquisition is the sole driving force. Gradgrind's mantra of "facts, not fancy" and...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2010, 7:24 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

The main moral lesson in Hard Times is that industrialization, if unchecked, can turn human beings into machines, into cogs in a vast system of production. Such a process involves the deliberate...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2020, 11:13 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Hard Times

In Charles Dickens's novel Hard Times, Louisa and Tom Gradgrind are sister and brother. The two siblings have very different responses to their difficult upbringing at the hands of Thomas Gradgrind...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2019, 10:47 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

In Hard Times, the circus symbolizes learning through experience. It's here that Sissy Jupe learns what a horse is, for example, without needing to give the kind of precise, lexicographical...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2019, 5:18 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

In Charles Dickens's Hard Times, Mr. Sleary is a circus owner whose philosophy of life stands in sharp contrast with some of the novel's other characters (especially Thomas Gradgrind, Josiah...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2021, 2:49 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Sissy Jupe represents all the magic, compassion, and creativity that has been sucked out of life by Gradgrind's fact-focused utilitarian philosophy. She is the abandoned daughter of a circus...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2021, 11:23 am (UTC)

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Hard Times

Realism in literature is identified by literary critics as a method of presenting human experiences as they actually occur. In the nineteenth century, it arose as a style that purported to be the...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2020, 9:21 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Yes, the novel is a satire of industrial society. More importantly, perhaps, it is a satire of the values on which industrial society is based. The sort of values which Dickens is satirizing is...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2009, 2:29 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Hard Times protests the ill effects of industrialism, which was beginning to dominate life in England by the Victorian era. Much like many real mill towns in the mid-nineteenth century, Coketown...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2018, 9:28 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

This excellent Dickensian classic promotes the fear that the author had of the impact of embracing industrialisation in society and how this would, in turn, inhibit humanity and turn them into...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2011, 7:28 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Clearly the two relationships that this question refers to are the relationship between Louisa Gradgrind and her father, Mr. Gradgrind, and then the relationship between Sissy Jupe and her father,...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2010, 6:50 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

In the opening of Charles Dickens's Hard Times, the philosophy of Gradgrind's model academy is spelled out in great detail: Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2021, 3:19 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Hard Times refers both to the difficulties of the factory workers in the age of industrialism and to the utilitarian philosophy that encouraged people's hearts to harden and imaginations to...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2021, 12:20 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

In Charles Dickens' "Hard Times," Coketown is portrayed as a sort of industrial nightmare area. The book is written in the context of an England where a new, industrialized society is taking the...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2009, 10:50 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

When his bank is robbed, Bounderby does not in the least suspect Tom Gradgrind at first, although Tom is the thief. Tom has spent time planning the robbery so as to divert attention from himself....

Latest answer posted June 4, 2021, 2:58 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Sissy and Rachel discover evidence that Stephen Blackpool, who has been missing for some time, fell down the Old Hell mine shaft. They find his hat, with his name written in it, and then Rachel...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2021, 12:13 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

The timeline of Bitzer's character begins in chapter 2 of Hard Times, which is titled "Murdering the Innocents." He is a young boy going to school at Gradgrind's academy. From the very start,...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2021, 1:53 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Gradgrind's model school in Dickens' work is a result of the utilitarian model motivated by the Enlightenment gone sadly awry. We can see this in the opening chapters. The direct method of...

Latest answer posted January 2, 2011, 7:38 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Charles Dickens's Hard Times can certainly be interpreted as an attack on Victorian society during the initial waves of industrialization in England. Victorian-era ideals were strongly rooted in...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2019, 6:43 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Hard Times

Like a good Victorian novelist would, Dickens uses a highly knowledgeable third-person narrator who looks down from "above" and can speak with authority about what is going on in the novel. There...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2021, 3:27 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Sissy, the nickname of Cecilia, Jupe is a child during much of the action in Hard Times. In many ways, Sissy embodies the novel’s title—the difficulties that England’s poor must endure. Charles...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2019, 4:51 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Hard Times

The fact-based upbringing provided by Mr. Gradgrind resulted in Louisa and Tom becoming emotionally stunted and detached. The complete lack of any kind of encouragement to help them imagine and...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2011, 1:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2019, 7:55 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Hard Times

Lord Macaulay objected to what he called the "sullen Socialism" in Hard Times and, although the book is not ideologically Socialist, it is easy to see what he means. More than any other Dickens...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2020, 1:58 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Every single character in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times represents a trope or facet of Victorian society. Mr. James Harthouse is no exception. He represents the archetypal “rake,” or a wealthy,...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2016, 5:38 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

I think that one of the most significant element about the writing style that Dickens employs is to bring out an almost philosophical treatise to the literary narrative being depicted. Dickens...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2012, 4:27 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Tone is a writer's attitude toward the subject at hand. In the very short first chapter of Hard Times, the tone is bitterly ironic. The first chapter focuses on the teacher's expression of the...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2021, 2:39 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Charles Dickens’ use of the term “little pitchers” to describe the students at Mr. Thomas Gradgrind’s school reflects the educational values of Utilitarians during the Victorian era. Dickens...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2016, 8:07 pm (UTC)

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Hard Times

Mr. Bounderby's age is alluded to in Chapter 4 of the novel. Dickens writes that Mr. Bounderby "looked older; his seven or eight and forty might have had the seven or eight added to it again,...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2019, 9:02 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Education in Hard Times is often presented as little more than rote learning and the transmission of facts. In the notorious figure of Mr. Gradgrind, we have the epitome of Victorian utilitarianism...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2018, 12:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Hard Times

At the experimental private school run by Thomas Gradgrind in Coketown, the children learn facts and only facts. To Gradgrind, there is no purpose for fun, fancy, or imagination in this world. He...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2020, 11:43 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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