Hard Times Book I, Chapters 3-4: Questions and Answers

Charles Dickens

Book I, Chapters 3-4: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Gradgrind is “virtually retired” from what occupation?

2. How does Stone Lodge, Gradgrind’s house, resemble its owner?

3. Who is often referred to as “eminently practical”?

4. Which character describes himself as “a young vagabond”?

5. Who says, “Go and be somethingological directly.”?

6. Signor Jupe, Sissy Jupe’s father, performs in the circus with what animal?

7. Mr. Gradgrind’s political ambitions include what?

8. Who asked whom to come peep at the circus?

9. Why does Mr. Bounderby always “throw” on his hat?

10. What is Louisa’s reaction to Mr. Bounderby’s kiss?

Answers
1. Gradgrind has virtually retired from the “wholesale hardware trade.”

2. Stone Lodge resembles its owner in several ways. It is square, regular, “balanced” (six windows on one side and six on the other). It is an “uncompromising fact on the landscape.”
And its portico (covered porch with columns) looks like Gradgrind’s forehead.

3. Thomas Gradgrind is referred to as “eminently practical” by fellow Coketowners. He refers to himself as “eminently practical.”

4. Mr. Bounderby, recounting his childhood and youth, calls himself a young vagabond.

5. Mrs. Gradgrind is in the habit of saying this when she wants to dismiss the children to their own pursuits. Dickens remarks that she is “not a scientific character.”

6. Signor Jupe performs with a trained dog named Merrylegs.

7. Mr. Gradgrind wants to be elected to Parliament.

8. Mr. Gradgrind assumes that Tom brought his sister to the circus; Louisa says that it was she who asked him to go.

9. Mr. Bounderby “throws” on his hat as if to express that he is “a man who had been far too busily employed in making himself, to acquire any fashion of wearing his hat.”

10. Louisa reacts with disgust; she is shown frantically trying to rub the spot on her cheek that Bounderby had kissed with her handkerchief, “until it was burning red.”