Hard Times Book I, Chapter 9: Questions and Answers

Charles Dickens

Book I, Chapter 9: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Whispering the “awful word,” Sissy divulges that her father is a what?

2. What word always reminds Sissy of stutterings?

3. What “terrible communication” does Sissy make about her mother?

4. What does Sissy remember her father doing when she was “quite a baby”?

5. What is Sissy’s reply to Louisa’s question about where she lived with her father?

6. Which of the stories Sissy read her father did he seem particularly to enjoy?

7. What was the object of Sissy’s father’s one outburst of anger?

8. Why does every letter that she sees in Mr. Gradgrind’s hand take Sissy’s breath away and blind her eyes?

9. “That not unprecedented triumph of calculation which is usually at work on number one” refers to which character?

10. Asked for the first principle of political economy, Sissy’s “absurd” answer is what?

Answers
1. Sissy tells Louisa that her father is a clown (in the circus).

2. The word “statistics” always reminds Sissy of stutterings.

3. Sissy’s “terrible communication” is that her mother was a dancer.

4. Sissy remembers her father carrying her.

5. Sissy says she traveled about the country, never staying in one place.

6. Sissy’s father took particular delight in the Arabian Nights.

7. The object of Signor Jupe’s anger was his trained dog, Merrylegs.

8. A letter in Gradgrind’s hand has this effect on her because she supposes it might be either from her father, or from Mr. Sleary, giving news about her father.

9. The phrase refers to young Tom Gradgrind.

10. Sissy’s answer is that the first principle of political economy is “To do unto others as I would that they should do unto me.”