Hard Times Book III, Chapters 1-2: Questions and Answers

Charles Dickens

Book III, Chapters 1-2: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. The title of Chapter 1 refers back to which other chapter title, and why?

2. At first Louisa has an impression that all the events of her life since leaving her childhood room are like what?

3. What does Louisa allow her sister to do?

4. What kind of look does Louisa’s father have on his face?

5. What does Gradgrind say about himself with special earnestness, and that Dickens gives him credit for believing?

6. What is the belief that Mr. Gradgrind says he has never shared but that now he must consider afresh?

7. Why does Harthouse keep ringing his bell all night for the hotel porter?

8. Where does Harthouse look for Louisa?

9. Why does Harthouse, telling himself that “it may be as well to be in training,” order a steak dinner?

10. Of what does Harthouse admit to having taken advantage?

Answers
1. The title of Book 3, Chapter 1 refers to the novel’s first chapter, “The One Thing Needful”; the facts that Mr. Gradgrind had there extolled as the one thing needful will not serve now. The “other thing” may be the compassion that Louisa receives from both her father and Sissy.

2. Louisa has the impression that since her wedding, the events of her life are as the shadows of a dream.

3. Louisa allows her sister to hold her hand.

4. Mr. Gradgrind carries a “jaded, anxious look upon him.”

5. Mr. Gradgrind insists that he has always meant well by his system.

6. The belief Mr. Gradgrind mentions is that “there is a ¬wisdom of the Heart, and that there is a wisdom of the Head.”

7. He rings for the porter to find out if Louisa has left any messages for him.

8. He looks for her first at Bounderby’s country house and then at his bank, where Tom cannot tell him her whereabouts.

9. Humorously anticipating a wrestling challenge from Mr. Bounderby, Mr. Harthouse decides to eat some meat as a way to fortify himself for the encounter.

10. Mr. Harthouse tells Sissy that he took advantage of Louisa’s “father’s being a machine…her brother’s being a whelp…her husband’s being a bear,” adding that in doing so he “had no particularly evil intentions.”