Hard Times- Modernity

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Hard Times Aspects of Modernity Essay There are many ideas about modernity raised in Charles Dickenson’s book, Hard Times. Dickens expresses his concerns about the world affected by modernity using different narrative techniques. He uses caricatures to show the effects modernity has on individuals, he sues physiognomy to describe the true nature of people and place and he uses many metaphors and comparisons to accurately describe different aspects of modernity and its affect on Coketown and its people. He also uses techniques typical of his writing such as satire and repetition. Dickens’ view of modernity, as far as we can tell, is mostly negative and we see this by the way he describes different aspects of Coketown and different people. Each of Dickens’ caricatures represents a different aspect of modernity. Thomas Gradgrind is described almost as a weapon, which shoots facts at the children of his school, ‘he seemed a galvanised apparatus.’ Thomas Gradgrind is the ideal product of modernity; all he speaks is fact and has no room for fancy. Dickens portrays the problems of all fact and no fancy through Gradgrind’s children, Tom and Louisa. They grow up in an environment where all flights of fancy are discouraged and they end up with sever social dysfunctions as a result. Tom grows up to have little regard for others while Louisa has no ability to connect with others even though she has the desire to do so. Mr. Bounderby is another caricature of the hard working self made man. Constantly throughout the novel Bounderby complains and whines about his childhood stating he had nothing and that his mother deserted him and his grandmother was an alcoholic. Hearing this from Bounderby, we are given the impression that even the Hands who work for the factory owners have a chance of become a factory owner like Bounderby. Later in the novel when we find out that all the
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