Hard Times Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

Hard Times book cover
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Why is Merrylegs in Hard Times by Dickens given emblematic significance? Why is Jupe a character we never really know in the novel?

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Jupe does not actually appear in the novel. It is the idea of him, that influences the contrast of love and the cold, fact-driven society of Hard Times. Sissy reveals through her dialogue, Jupe's ideas on love. While the assumptions of his character can be made through Sissy's own beliefs and stories, it is impossible to actually know him. Jupe represents the philosophy of love being a powerful force in life.

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