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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

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Is Dickens more successful in delineating women than men in 'Hard Times'?

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No, actually I don't. I think he is equally successful in portraying both sexes. However, I think his goals are different in portraying the two sexes. In Sissy Jupe, for example, we have a character who tugs at our heartstrings. We sympathize with her and what she's going through.

By contrast, Josiah Bounderby makes me…well he makes me want to hit him in the head, I dislike him so much. However, he is a successfully drawn character, because he embodies that sense of self-importance so well and intensely that he draws emotional responses.

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