Hard Times Book II, Chapters 4-5: Summary and Analysis

Charles Dickens

Book II, Chapters 4-5: Summary and Analysis

Chapter 4: Men and Brothers
Chapter 5: Men and Masters

New Character:
Slackbridge: trade union leader

Summary
The union leader Slackbridge holds forth to a large, attentive audience of working men. He has learned of a working man among them who has declined to support certain measures proposed by Coketown’s union of factory operatives. Slackbridge, addressing a meeting of The United Aggregate Tribunal, denounces this man as a “traitor and a craven and a recreant.” The crowd, which had been with him, is divided—there are calls from the hall to see the man himself and hear what he has to say.

The holdout is Stephen Blackpool, who in refusing to join in...

(The entire section is 656 words.)