Hard Times Book I, Chapter 13: Questions and Answers

Charles Dickens

Book I, Chapter 13: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What object makes Stephen compare Rachael to the stars?

2. What item of Rachael’s clothing does Stephen kiss?

3. How many times does he kiss it?

4. What does Rachael break on the hearth?

5. Whose little sister is imagined to be among the angels?

6. The red finger marks on Rachael’s forehead are from what?

7. Who is the woman Stephen stands beside in church, in the “imaginary happiness” of his dream?

8. Which of the Ten Commandments would it seem Stephen sees and hears in his dream?

9. What time is it when Stephen and Rachael both wake?

10. During the whole of this chapter, what is happening outside Stephen’s room?

Answers
1. The candle in his window makes Stephen compare her to the stars. His idea is that Rachael sheds her light down on the ordinary circumstances of his life as the “shining” faraway stars do the “heavy” candle, with its low light.

2. Stephen kisses the fringes of Rachael’s shawl.

3. He kisses her shawl twice.

4. After emptying it, Rachael breaks the bottle marked “Poison” on the hearth.

5. Rachael speaks of a younger sister who died. In his final speech to her, Stephen speaks of how they will one day “walk together far awa’, beyond the deep gulf, in th’ country where thy little sister is.”

6. The marks on Rachael’s face are from the blow Stephen’s wife gives her when Rachael takes away the mug.

7. The woman he dreams he is marrying is neither his wife nor Rachael but another woman “on whom his heart had long been set.”

8. The two likeliest possibilities are either the “Thou shalt not kill,” or the “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” or both at once.

9. It is three in the morning when Rachael and Stephen awaken.

10. All night a storm blows and rain falls outside of Stephen’s room.