What do you consider the major moral lesson in Hard Times by Charles Dickens?
For me, the major moral lesson that Charles Dickens hopes readers take away from Hard Times is that Utilitarian values are not only impractical, but are also immoral and calloused. Utilitarianism is a philosophy that was especially prominent at the time Dickens wrote the tale, and it is centered on practically and methodically calculating what does the most people the most good, while disregarding the human component of their felicitous calculus. Dickens exaggerates the tenets of Utilitarianism through iconic characters such as Mr. Gradgrind and the loathsome Bounderby.
Gradgrind specifically best represents the moral lesson that Utilitarianism is a narrow, restrictive philosophy after he grows to appreciate the human condition. Initially, Gradgrind harps on about facts and statistics, and ignores others’ thoughts and emotions. He finds his children's use of imagination to be a sign of weakness and mental...
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