Analysis Of Charles Dickens Hard Times

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HARD TIMES - CHARLES DICKENS ASSIGNMENT QUES- WRITE A NOTE ON MARRIAGE Charles Dickens’ Hard Times is a social protestant novel of nineteenth century England. All the classes including the working class have a “hard time” in this novel. Since Charles Dickens wrote of the conditions and the people of his time, it is worthwhile to understand the period in which he lived and worked. The novel is set in Coketown, a northern industrial city. Thomas Gradgrind rules his family and his school according to Utilitarianism. Thomas Gradgrind has two children Louisa and Tom. Their father catches them when they try to see Sleary’s Circus, where the clown Jupe works. Jupe has a daughter Sissy, and when Jupe leaves the circus and his daughter, Gradgrind…show more content…
He is a proud self-made man; but once and again a strange old woman observes his house. Stephen Blackpool is one of Bounderby’s workers. Blackpool has a troubled life. He has an alcoholic wife, who has left him, but he cannot be divorced from her. He is in love with Rachel, a factory girl. When a strike breaks out and Blackpool is not willing to join the trade union his mates will not have anything to do with him. He is fired, and he has to leave the town. Tom Gradgrind starts to work in Bounderby’s bank, and Bounderby proposes to Louisa. Though she is 30 years younger than him, she accepts. Bounderby’s housekeeper Mrs. Sparsit is jealous. Louisa’s marriage is unhappy, and James Harthouse, a politician, attempts to seduce her. Bounderby’s bank is robbed by Tom. However, it is Steven Blackpool who is suspected, and Bitzer, a clerk in the bank gives evidence against him. Mrs. Sparsit has discovered the relationship between Harthouse and Louisa and spies upon them. Louisa turns Harthouse down, and she goes home to her father to talk to him about her problems. He comes near to realizing that his upbringing of his children based on “Facts” has been a misunderstanding. Gradgrind now shelters Louisa from Bounderby, and the couple are permanently…show more content…
Sparsit finds out that the strange old woman outside Mr. Bounderby’s house is in fact his mother, and that he does not have a humble origin as he has claimed. He is not after all a self-made man. Tom dies abroad, and Gradgrind lives into old age rejecting his Facts and Figures, Faith, Hope and Charity having become his leading principles. There are no happy marriages in Hard Times. In Stephen's case, it focuses instead on a missed opportunity for true companionship. In the case of the Gradgrinds, you've got an entirely intellectually unequal match where spouses are indifferent to each other. Mr. Gradgrind's marriage to his feeble, complaining wife is not exactly a source of misery for either of them, but neither are they or their children happy. The Gradgrind family is not a loving or affectionate one. The main unhappy marriage showcased by the novel is between Louisa Gradgrind and Mr. Bounderby. Louisa marries him not out of love but out of a sense of duty to her brother, Tom, the only person in the world she loves and who wheedles her into saying "yes" because he works for Bounderby and wants to improve his chances at rising in the world. Bounderby's intentions regarding Louisa seem a bit creepy at first, but he turns out to mean no harm to her. This a loveless disaster where husband and wife grow to hate each other in the case of Louisa and Bounderby. The only happy unions are mythic, have occurred in the past, or are just barely implied, as in the case of the Jupes

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