Hard Times Book III, Chapter 7: Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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Book III, Chapter 7: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. The title of Chapter 7, “Whelp-Hunting,” refers to whom?

2. What does Gradgrind do as soon as he returns home from seeing Stephen Blackpool at the Old Hell Shaft?

3. What does Gradgrind tell Bounderby it is his duty to do?

4. At the outset of the family conference called by Gradgrind to discuss what to do about his son, what does Louisa say to encourage her father?

5. “Ten thousand pounds could not effect it,” says Gradgrind. What is “it”?

6. Mr. Bounderby’s “bullying vein of public zeal” might lead him to do what?

7. Where has Sleary’s Horse-Riding set up?

8. Who sells the tickets for the circus?

9. Bitzer’s long hard run has had what sort of singular effect on his appearance?

10. How does Mr. Sleary propose to get Tom to Liverpool?

1. The title “Whelp-Hunting” refers to Tom Gradgrind, first dubbed “the whelp” by Harthouse in Book 2, Chapter 2 and often so called by Dickens; “whelp” is a word of Anglo-Saxon origin meaning the young offspring of dogs or meat-eating wild animals such as wolves or lions.

2. Gradgrind sends a message to Mr. Bounderby asking his son to come directly to Stone Lodge.

3. Gradgrind tells his old former ally that he considers it his duty to vindicate Stephen Blackpool’s memory and declare the real thief.

4. Louisa tells her father he still has three young children (meaning her sister Jane and the two younger Gradgrind boys) who may be different from either Tom or herself.

5. Gradgrind says it would take more than 10,000 pounds to find Tom and spirit him out of the country in the short time remaining before he makes his son’s act publicly known.

6. Mr. Bounderby might insist that his young brother-in-law be brought to justice, face a trial, and suffer punishment for his crime.

7. Sleary’s Horse-Riding has set up in the marketplace of a small town more than 20 miles away from the town to which Sissy had directed Tom.

8. Master Kidderminster is the ticket taker.

9. Bitzer has “run himself into a sort of white heat, when other people run themselves into a glow.”

10. Mr. Sleary intends to get Tom into a coach that will meet the mail train to Liverpool.