Hard Times Book III, Chapters 8-9: Questions and Answers

Charles Dickens

Book III, Chapters 8-9: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. As he is confiding his plans to Sissy, what does Sleary call Bitzer?

2. What does Mr. Gradgrind say is his last chance to soften Bitzer?

3. The reappearance of Merrylegs immediately suggests what to Mr. Sleary?

4. What is it that Sleary says people can’t always be doing?

5. According to Mr. Sleary, a promise from Gradgrind to do what will more than balance his account with the circus?

6. How does Bounderby decide he can get the most glory out of his employment of his housekeeper?

7. What does Mrs. Sparsit ask Mr. Bounderby not to do as he begins to speak to her?

8. Mrs. Sparsit says the portrait of Mr. Bounderby has what advantage over the original?

9. What is the size of Lady Scadgers’ establishment?

10. Louisa will be loved by all children, but by whose in particular?

Answers
1. Sleary calls Bitzer a “prethiouth rathcal” (precious rascal).

2. Mr. Gradgrind reminds Bitzer of the education he has received at his school.

3. When he sees Merrylegs, Mr. Sleary is sure that Sissy’s father has died.

4. People, says Sleary, cannot always be made to learn, or always made to work.

5. Mr. Gradgrind will clear his debts to the circus by at some point in the future ordering a “bespeak.”

6. Mr. Bounderby comes to the conclusion that firing Mrs. Sparsit will give him the most glory.

7. Mrs. Sparsit asks Mr. Bounderby not to bite her nose off.

8. The portrait has the advantage over its original of not possessing the power to speak, and “disgusting others.”

9. Lady Scadgers’ establishment is “a mere closet for one, a mere crib for two.”

10. Sissy’s children will love Louisa.