What is the tone of the first chapter of Hard Times?

The tone of the first chapter of Hard Times is ironic, with Dickens using negative word choices to convey the unpleasantness of an education based only on facts.

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Tone is a writer's attitude toward the subject at hand. In the very short first chapter ofHard Times, the tone is bitterly ironic. The first chapter focuses on the teacher's expression of the value of students learning facts and only facts, but the author's word choice shows that...

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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 value of students learning facts and only facts, but the author's word choice shows that he feels the opposite of the speaker. Dickens conveys irony by using a series of words and images with negative connotations to describe the speaker, the classroom, and the facts-only attitude the school represents.

For example, the narrator describes the classroom as "monotonous," while the speaker is also described in negative tones: He has a "square wall" of a forehead, as well as a "hard set" mouth and a voice that is " inflexible, dry, and dictatorial." He also has a bald head, covered with "knobs." He has an "obstinate" carriage, or way of walking, and wears a neckcloth that seems

trained to take him by the throat with an unaccommodating grasp, like a stubborn fact.

The facts the teacher repeatedly mentions as all-important seem very threatening, especially when they are likened to being taken by the throat in a hard grasp that appears strangling.

This does not seem to be a classroom a child would freely choose to enter, nor does the teacher seem a pleasant or understanding person. This makes the facts he thinks are all-important seem equally unpleasant.

Further, the negative tone continues with the students being referred to as an "inclined plane of little vessels," as if they are static objects to be filled with facts, not dynamic human beings.

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