Hard Times Book II, Chapters 7-8: Summary and Analysis

Charles Dickens

Book II, Chapters 7-8: Summary and Analysis

Chapter 7: Gunpowder
Chapter 8: Explosion

Summary
Ever since being dazzled, on the evening he first met Louisa, by the affectionate smile she gave to her brother, James Harthouse has wanted the same smile turned on him. His conversion to Bounderby and Gradgrind’s political and economic views, his making himself an intimate of the Bounderby household, his becoming a frequent guest at Mr. Bounderby’s newly acquired summer house—all have had this same end in view.

Mr. Harthouse knows from Tom’s indiscretions the night he got the boy drunk that his sister has entered a loveless marriage for his sake. He also senses that if he appears to take an interest in Tom he will gain her...

(The entire section is 896 words.)