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Coketown in Charles Dickens' Novel Hard Times

This passage has come across a monotonous and dull town surrounded by industrialization. There is no colour, no aesthetic beauty but just buildings and factories that are an eyesore to the whole town. This town was once a nice place and it was a town of ‘red brick’ but because of all the smoke, dust and dirt it has now all changed to black brick. There is no life left in the inhabitants of the town.

They are just servers to the town and they aren’t even considered the characters of the passage.

They are dehumanized and instead the buildings are the characters that take over. The buildings seem to literally take over the human qualities and are given priority and superiority to the people. There is no change or difference between one building and another. ‘The Jail might have been the infirmary; the infirmary might have been the jail’. There is a sense of sameness and uniformity.

Other people get life out of what Coketown sacrifices.

The people of this town are stuck with this lifestyle forever as there doesn’t seem to be any way out if it. The town is literally doomed. There is the image of ‘serpents’ which give off the evil part to this town. It is almost as if the people are under the influence of this evil task master from which the inhabitants can never hope to escape. There is also the image of ‘water’ which is usually the symbol of life and purity but in this case the water has become a victim of this so called progress.

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This lifeless town is basically sustained by what it makes and produces. These people are sacrificing their lives and their town in order to survive. The only thing that seems to be done in this town is work and more work; there are no natural sights or pleasure in its perspective. Everything is made just for purpose and function. Even the chapel built which is supposed to be an inspiring building and have meaning to people is described as a ‘warehouse’.

There is a feeling of entrapment in this town such as the ‘bird cage’ image used. These people have no knowledge of life out of this town. They are mechanical soldiers who feel enslaved to working for this town and feel like it is their only purpose to life. The people are alienated from each other as they don’t even seem to try and change this strict and totalitarian system. There is nothing more than facts and nothing seems important besides facts. It is a perverted world where people have lost their humanity and inanimate objects get a life of their own. This town seems to be what controls the people and unfortunately the people all seem to be too intimated by the system that they won’t even consider speaking up about the corrupt lifestyle they all live each day. There is a major devoid of natural life and the people are helpless to the situation.

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Coketown in Charles Dickens' Novel Hard Times. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

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