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LCT Task 4 English - Term Paper Example

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LCT Task 4: Written Analysis The issue of social struggles was an important theme in many literary works done during the 19th century. During this period, the English society was undergoing a social revolution that saw people questioning the idea of having social classes in their midst…
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LCT Task 4 English

Download file to see previous pages... The book focuses on the social and economic pressures that were rampant in England at the time it was written. The story is set in a fictitious industrial town called Coketown, which is based on Preston during the 19th century. One of the main focuses of this novel was utilitarianism which holds that the ultimate objective of every individual is to promote general social welfare. The social struggle depicted in this novel is mostly centered on industrialists and workers. The story revolves around various characters including Thomas Gradgrind who is a wealthy ex-merchant living in Coketown. Gradgrind has devoted his life to rationalism, fact and self-interest, and this philosophy is the one that he uses in bringing up Louisa and Tom, two of his children. Tom grows up to be a sadistic hedonist while his sister Louisa constantly struggles with confusion. She later marries her father’s friend, Josiah Bounderby, a rich banker and industrialist who is thirty years her senior. In the meantime, an impoverished Stephen Blackpool, is in love with a poor factory worker but he cannot marry her as he already ahs a wife who is drunk and not loyal to him. However, he learns from Bounderby that he cannot get a divorce from his horrible wife since it is only the wealthy who are allowed to get divorced. In the end, Bounderby dies alone in Coketown’s streets while Gridgrind abandons his philosophy and decides to devote his political position to help the poor (Dickens, 1854). Persuasion by Jane Austen Persuasion was the last novel completed by Jane Austen in 1816 (Faye, 2003). This is one of the author’s novels that reflects the changes occurring in England’s social order at the time (Faye, 2003). This period was marked by many members of the peerage group losing their high places in society. The book begins with a scenario where the Elliots, an upper class family, is considering moving to a smaller residence. They want to rent out their big mansion to a navy man named Admiral Croft. Baronets such as Anne’s father were finding it difficult to maintain their spendthrift lifestyles. Anne’s family refuses her to get married to Wentworth, who they consider to be poor. However, in the end, Wentworth is able to gain wealth and finally marries Anne (Austen, 1934). How Does Plot Reveal Characters’ Social Struggle? The plot of Hard Times is divided into three sections: sowing, reaping and garnering. Sowing focuses on Mr. Gradgrind and the way that he brings up his children, especially Louisa and Tom. His high-class life philosophy is inculcated in the upbringing of the two and this later is shown to have a serious impact on their lives. Mr. Gradgrind is a strong believer that ample education based on facts and calculations is the only way to live a good life. However, later on in the book, Louisa and Tom do not benefit at all from this philosophy of the wealthy. Tom becomes a hedonist and a thief and Louisa is confused with her life and ends up making the mistake of marrying a man more than twice her age. The second part of the book introduces workers who work at the mills. Stephen Blackpool is one of the poor workers and he is presented as a “man of perfect integrity”. It is through the development of Stephen’s character in the second part of Hard Times that the morality of the nobility is contrasted with the so called morality of the lower class. Through Stephen’s character some of the issues faced by the poor workers such as not being allowed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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