Book 2, Chapter 3 Summary

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The narrator labels Tom as a hypocrite who is “incapable at last of governing himself” and who has given in to his desires to the point of becoming a monster. Back at the hotel, Mr. Harthouse gives Tom a drink and a cigar and engages him in conversation to find out more about Louisa. Tom becomes more and more familiar and comfortable and talks more and more about the Bounderbys, claiming that Louisa only married Mr. Bounderby so that she could do a good turn to her brother. She cares nothing about Mr. Bounderby at all, Tom says, but she does not mind her situation. She can “shut herself up within herself.”

Tom continues his conversation, speaking about the Gradgrind family’s upbringing and Mrs. Sparsit, until he falls asleep on the sofa. When he finally leaves, the narrator comments that if he had been “less of a whelp and more of a brother,” he might have gone off and drowned himself in the river.

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Book 2, Chapter 4 Summary