Why are three main sections of the novel Hard Times by Charles Dickens entitled Sowing, Reaping, and Garnering?

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Charles Dickens's novel Hard Times, which is a social criticism, is divided into three sections. These sections act as thematic titles.

  • Sowing

In this section, Dickens introduces his main characters, among whom is Mr. Gradgrind, whose utilitarian fact-philosophy does not allow emotion or imagination to partake in learning or experience. In fact, Gradgrind holds this conviction: 

Facts alone are wanted in life.... Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service.... This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts....! (Ch.1)

Likewise, just as the factories grind out a product, the educational preparation of Mr. M'Choakumchild is also churning out a product since the children are taught in the same utilitarian manner:

He had worked his stony way...and had taken the bloom off the higher branches of mathematics and physical science, French, German, Latin, and Greek. (I, Ch. 1)

Imagination is discouraged. Even...

(The entire section contains 644 words.)

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