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Charles Dickens Hard Times - Essay Example

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Regardless of the fact that Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times about Hard Times was written over a hundred and fifty years ago, it features compelling arguments on issues that are of relevance nowadays. …
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Charles Dickens Hard Times
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Download file to see previous pages His arguments can be seen to be rather idealistic but they stem from a sensible place as they analyze human behavior. The story is woven around three families: the Blackpools, Bounderbys and Gradgrinds; and the fictional Coketown that they all reside in. The latter two are firm believers in teaching their children how to be practical as this is the sole path to leading one’s life. This is due to the reason that they diminish human behavior as that which can be guided through practical rules. On the other hand, Stephen Blackpool, a worker at Bounderbys factory, is miserable as he feels their boss overworks them and refuses to appreciate their efforts. Dickens illustrates his ardent belief in importance of social connection through, Louisa a daughter of Gradgrind who grows up being incapable to make emotional connection. I agree with Dickens’ argument that social connection is important and human beings cannot be viewed purely as intellectual beings. The story begins in a classroom set up where Grandgrid, a high school teacher, is giving a lecture on the value of facts. “Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of service to them” (1). ...
Secondly, having a fact-based education is detrimental because it raises human beings to be selfish and only considerate of their own success in spite of it being at the expense of others. Dickens’ demonstrates using the character of Sissy who has grown up with the value of Fancy, the concept of taking time out to leisure. This is owing to the fact that she was raised in the circus where the owner, Mr Sleary, is illustrated underlining weight of time for amusement, as one cannot always be working. “What is the first principle of this science?” She responds incorrectly “To do unto others as I would that they should do unto me” (43). This reflects Sissy’s humane side of putting the feelings of others before any facts; this is noteworthy concerning Mr Bouderby who in contrast, is seen to overwork his employees by treating them like machines that are only good for their intellect. Agreeing to a similar belief as Mr Grandgrid he is shown as holding the principle of rational self-interest, where human behavior is can be measured. Students gifted in imaginative works and heart-centered, like in this case Sissy, are bound to be perceived as failures as they cannot cram and churn out the hard facts impressed on them. Besides that, following such a principle inhibits imagination as an immeasurable component of human beings. Through these two characters, Dickens’ brings out the negative effects of industrialization stating that they turn human beings into machines leaving no room for social connection or imagination. Another portrayal of the importance of social connection is through Louisa who gets into a marriage for the rational reason of financial support, devoid of any romantic feelings. Over time, she finds herself developing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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