Hard Times Book III, Chapter 3: Questions and Answers

Charles Dickens

Book III, Chapter 3: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is it that Gradgrind is surprised Bounderby has missed?

2. Asked to speak, Mrs. Sparsit is reduced to what?

3. What does Mr. Bounderby call Mr. Harthouse?

4. What does Gradgrind entreat Bounderby, for his own sake and for Louisa’s?

5. When Bounderby learns where Louisa is, he demands what from Mrs. Sparsit?

6. What does Mr. Bounderby advise his housekeeper to do when she returns to the bank?

7. Bounderby takes offense at Gradgrind’s use of which common form of address?

8. According to Bounderby, what is the nature of the “incompatibility” between him and his wife?

9. Why does Bounderby declare he is glad that Gradgrind says he is being unreasonable?

10. What does Bounderby say he plans to tell anyone who asks him about his decision to part from Louisa?

Answers
1. Mr. Gradgrind is surprised that Mr. Bounderby has missed his letter.

2. Mrs. Sparsit is reduced to facial contortions, gestures at her throat, and finally, tears.

3. Mr. Bounderby calls Mr. Harthouse Mr. Gradgrind’s “precious gentleman-friend.”

4. Mr. Gradgrind asks Mr. Bounderby not to shout.

5. Mr. Bounderby demands an apology from Mrs. Sparsit.

6. Mr. Bounderby advises Mrs. Sparsit to put her feet in a tub of hot water, drink a glass of rum and butter, and go to bed.

7. Mr. Bounderby takes offense at Mr. Gradgrind’s addressing him as “my dear Bounderby.”

8. The nature of the incompatibility between his wife and himself is simply that she “don’t properly know her husband’s merits, and is not impressed with such a sense as would become her, by George! of the honour of his alliance.”

9. Mr. Bounderby declares this because “when Tom Gradgrind, with his new lights, tells me what I say is unreasonable, I am convinced at once it must be devilish sensible.”

10. Mr. Bounderby says he plans to tell people that “the two horses wouldn’t pull together.”