Dickens explores contrasting values?

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Louisa looks down when Gradgrind looks at her avoiding eye contact, implying her loneliness and detachment from any form of close connection between human beings. Chapter nine consists of a conversation between the two girls. When Sissy confides in Louisa about making mistakes in school lessons, Louisa replies with comments such as 'that was a great mistake of yours', demonstrating that although she feels trapped and suffocated by the system she lives in, she is still a part of it and behaves like she is expected to.

Sissy's thoughtful and caring character is reinforced when she tells Louisa of the answers she gave to Mr.

M'Choakumchild's statistical questions in school. For example she replied to one of the percentage questions by saying 'it must be just has hard upon those who were starved whether the others were a million or a million million'. Sissy cares too much about the people involved even though they are simply examples. As the girls' conversation develops, Louisa asks poses questions to Sissy 'with a strong, wild, wandering interest peculiar to her; an interest gone astray like a banished creature, and hiding in solitary places.

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She is very curious towards matters such as family, relationships and love, and asks questions such as 'Does your father love her? ' and 'and your father was always kind? To the last? This demonstrates the lack of these issues in Louisa's life, as a result of her environment and education. When Sissy begins to sob, Louisa approaches her, kisses her and takes her by the hand.

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These are emotions and gestures that Louisa has trapped inside of her and has been desperate to be able to display. Now, through Sissy, she is able to do this.

In this scene, Dickens is showing that Louisa recognizes that emotions do exist within her and she is searching desperately to learn how to express them. She is struggling to reconcile the fact-driven self-interest of her upbringing with the warmth of feeling that she witnesses both in Sissy and developing within herself Under Sissy's guidance, she shows great promise in learning how to express these feelings and I think that Dickens has achieved to create a very touching and heart-warming scene.

Chapter fifteen incorporates a father-daughter discussion. After hearing that Mr. Bounderby wishes to marry her, Louisa asks her father straightforwardly whether he thinks that she loves Mr. Bounderby. Mr. Gradgrind is 'extremely discomfits by this unexpected question' and avoids answering the simple question. She asks more questions related to love and marriage, and also seeks advice from her father. Mr. Gradgrind is shown, yet again, to be blind and oblivious to his daughter's clear attempts to bond to him and relate to him.

However, Louisa is persistent with her questions, showing her determination to penetrate her father and to get him to open up about such matters. Later on in the scene, she expresses her deepest feelings and thoughts to her father and pours her heart out to him. She explains that she 'has never had a child's belief, a child's fear or a child's heart'. Instead of feeling guilty and responsible for Louisa's sad and restricted childhood, he is 'moved by his success'. Louisa has turned out exactly as he wanted.

In chapter fifteen, Sissy hears the news of Louisa and Bounderby's engagement and she looks 'in wonder, in pity, in sorrow, in doubt, in a multitude of emotions, towards Louisa'. Louisa knows what Sissy is thinking without even looking at her, and this shows a subconscious connection between the two girls, both knowing that Louisa has entered a loveless marriage and will be trapped for the rest of her life. The chapter ends by telling us that 'from that moment, she was impassive, proud and cold-held Sissy at a distance-changed to her altogether.

Louisa detaches herself from Sissy because the girl represents everything that Louisa is missing and wanting in her life and having Sissy around constantly will only remind of her of the life she is desperate for but unable to lead. In conclusion, by comparing and contrasting the characters of Sissy Jupe and Louisa Gradgrind, we can quite clearly see how Dickens has explores their different values and the types of people that they represent. Sissy is kind, gentle, considerate, imaginative, sensitive and emotional and it is clear that once she is married she will be the 'angel in the house'.

Although the reader will overlook Sissy as the model girl of how everyone should be, it is Louisa who is the typical Victorian woman, being a victim of Utilitarianism system. She has no close relationships with others and finds it very difficult to express her feelings and emotions. Her life is based on facts, just as her father wishes for it to be. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hard Times section.

Updated: Aug 11, 2021
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Dickens explores contrasting values?. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/dickens-explores-contrasting-values-9052-new-essay

Dickens explores contrasting values? essay
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