Hard Times Book II, Chapters 1-3: Summary and Analysis

Charles Dickens

Book II, Chapters 1-3: Summary and Analysis

Chapter 1: Effects in the Bank
Chapter 2: Mr. James Harthouse
Chapter 3: The Whelp

New Character:
Mr. James Harthouse: a gentleman from London, newly recruited to Gradgrind’s party

It is the end of a hot summer day in Coketown, some time after Bounderby and Louisa’s wedding. Mrs. Sparsit is installed at the bank. Bitzer, Gradgrind’s diligent old pupil, now employed at the bank as a porter (and as Bounderby’s informant and spy) keeps her company while she consumes a late afternoon tea.

The conversation turns to Louisa’s brother Tom, whose presence in the bank Bitzer resents. Bitzer says Tom is a slacker with expensive habits, and that...

(The entire section is 828 words.)