Download Hard Times Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Book II, Chapters 1-3: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Dickens declare that Coketown’s very existence is a wonder?

2. What “fiction of Coketown” takes the form of a threat?

3. The Fairy Palaces, on hot days, have the atmosphere of a what?

4. After office hours in Bounderby’s bank, what room does Mrs. Sparsit like to sit in?

5. What does Mrs. Sparsit like to think of herself as, and what do people passing by Bounderby’s bank think of her as?

6. Bitzer shows himself to be an “excellent young economist” in what remarkable instance?

7. Why does Mrs. Sparsit exclaim, “O you fool!” to herself, after Harthouse has left the bank?

8. In the sentences “They liked fine gentlemen; they pretended that they did not, but they did. They became exhausted in imitation of them…” who is meant by “they”?

9. What does Bounderby tell Harthouse of Coketown’s smoke?

10. Before the family dinner, what does Bounderby propose that he and Harthouse do?

1. Dickens speaks of Coketown in this manner because its leading manufacturers are always claiming to be “ruined.”

2. This fiction of Coketown is the manufacturers’ talk,...

(The entire section is 362 words.)