Hard Times Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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What is Dickens's message about love, as shown through the characters fates at the end of the novel Hard Times and Dickens's direct address to the reader? 

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The answer to this question is subjective. Fantastic discussions can be created about what Dickens is trying to show about love and marriage through the various characters and their relationships in this book. To make things more complicated, Dickens was in the process of leaving his wife for a much younger woman; therefore, it has to be considered that he was letting his own relationships influence his writing.

A reader might be able to claim that Dickens is trying to show readers that marrying someone for purely financial reasons and/or the likelihood of statistical success is ludicrous. He shows readers this through Louisa and Bounderby; however, Stephen's marriage to his alcoholic wife is also shown to be a miserable agreement. The novel could be saying that marrying for love is a bad idea while at the same time saying that a marriage without...

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