Hard Times Questions and Answers

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

4 educator answers

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

2 educator answers

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

2 educator answers

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

2 educator answers

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

1 educator answer

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

1 educator answer

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

1 educator answer

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

1 educator answer

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

4 educator answers

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

1 educator answer

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

1 educator answer

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

1 educator answer

Hard Times

In the classic sense, it's not really tragic. Most of Dickens has a combination of sad and happy endings. It's more melodrama than straight tragedy. Like many of his books, it's a culinary tale....

Latest answer posted June 24, 2011 11:23 pm UTC

4 educator answers

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

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

2 educator answers

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

3 educator answers

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

2 educator answers

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

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

1 educator answer

Hard Times

The main thematic conflict in Hard Times is between utilitarianism and humanism. The utilitarian philosophy represented by Mr. Gradgrind emphasizes reason and practicality at the cost of everything...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2019 2:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

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

2 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

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Very much the social reformer, Charles Dickens dedicated his novel Hard Times to Thomas Carlyle, a social critic whose account of the French Revolution also influenced the writing of A Tale of Two...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2013 7:47 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

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

The assertion that facts and hard data should form the basis of living is the main message that Gradgrind communicates to his students. Gradgrind believes that provable facts must underscore...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2016 3:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Thomas Gradgrind's philosophy is the one most criticized by Charles Dickens in Hard Times. Gradgrind essentially believes in nothing but hard facts: mathematics and science. Anything involving...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2020 12:06 pm 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

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

1 educator answer

Hard Times

In this opening paragraph of Part 2 of Hard Times, Dickens uses some difficult language in his description of Coketown and it is much easier to understand if we break it down. To begin, then,...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2016 3:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hard Times

In chapter 20, Mrs. Sparsit is presented as having been at Mr. Bounderby's house for several weeks. When her stay ends, she will lose her free lodgings and ability to interfere in his life. Mrs....

Latest answer posted October 25, 2018 3:32 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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

1 educator answer

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

Stephen Blackpool is by far one of the most interesting and tragic characters in this great novel. Consider how he is introduced: we only meet him after Dickens has shown us the Gradgrind family...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2010 6:58 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

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Rachael is a Hand that appears first in the novel in Chapter Ten of Book the First. She is hard-working and presented as a character that symbolises moral purity and domestic bliss to Stephen...

Latest answer posted January 2, 2011 7:59 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

1 educator answer

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

2 educator answers

Hard Times

Gradgrind and Bartleby are both wealthy businessmen in mid-1800s industrial England who adhere to rigid moral and philosophical ideologies. Gradgrind preaches the power of rationalism and reliance...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2020 1:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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

1 educator answer

Hard Times

The allusion you refer to comes in the final chapter of Book II in this excellent novel, where Mr Gradgrind is presented as working in his study, writing some kind of report. Note what the text...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2012 6:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

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

It is important to identify Sissy Jupe's function in this tremendous novel concerning Victorian industrialisation and utilitarianism. Cecilia Jupe is the daughter of a clown in Sleary's circus, and...

Latest answer posted January 2, 2011 7:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hard Times

This is a great question! It is clear that Dickens presents Bounderby and Louisa's marriage as an unhappy one. Note how it is juxtaposed in the text with another unhappy marriage - that of Stephen...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2010 7:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hard Times

An excellent chapter to think about and study in depth with regard to this question in Chapter 15, entitled "Father and Daughter," when Gradgrind relates the proposal he has received to his...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2010 4:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

Hard Times

I think that Dickens uses his teacher character of Gradgrind to reflect many of the problems in the British educational system. A strict utilitarian who is driven by calculations and profitable...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2009 12:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

Hard Times

From the most elemental of point of view, Gradgrind's failure is his embrace of a singular and monistic expression of the good. The affirmation of "fact, not fancy" and the idea that learning, and...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2010 9:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hard Times

Slackbridge is a trade union organizer who tirelessly campaigns to recruit union members and thereby improve the working conditions at Bounderby’s factory. Charles Dickens portrays him as an...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2019 9:08 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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