In Hard Times, who are the "little pitchers"  waiting to be filled with facts?

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This question relates to one of the key central themes of the novel, which is the educational philosophy of Thomas Gradgrind and how he hopes to educate his charges as well as his children using an extension of his Utilitarianism philosophy, that only focuses on facts. This philosophy is summarised effectively at the very beginning of the novel:

"Now, what I want is, Facts....

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i-am-urmi | Student

In Hard Times, Chapter one, we are introduced to the Utilitarianism educational system. Here, Thomas Gradgrind refers to his students as the "little pitchers" waiting to be filled with facts. To him, they were nothing more than empty vessels, which he was going to fill to the brim with fact, facts and only facts.

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roflcopter | Student

by little pitchers are you refering to the 'little vessels' in the first chapter? If so, the little vessels represent the children who attend Gradgrind's faculty of fact. The reason why they are symbolised as such is because Gradgrind is basically filling them up 'to the brim' with his endless supply of facts and statistics. This aims to depict Gradgrind as a didactic and strict teacher who intends to wipe out any hint of fancy with the 'imperial gallons' of facts.

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