Hard Times Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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What are the Victorian symbols presented in "Hard Times"?

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The Victoria symbols of the novel can be traced from the attitudes of the people presented in the novel and the two predominant motifs of the novel: industrialisation and utilitarianism. Mr. Gradgrind is the symbol of Victorian utilitarianism, which was founded by Jeremy Bentham. Coketown is a symbol of Victorian industrialisation. Furthermore the attitudes of the people presented throughout the novel present subtle Victorian attitudes. For example Sissy Jupe is a product of the utilitarian belief symbolised by Mr. Gradgrind. Overall the novel is truly Victorian – a real documentary of Victorian society.

For more details about Victorian background please see the following eNotes article.

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