Dickens novels Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 November 2017

Dickens novels

Hard Times was one of Dickens’ novels that focuses mainly on the education system and industrialisation. Dickens was furious about the changes in industrialisation throughout the Victorian period and this motivated him enormously to write the novel. Industrialisation meant that working conditions were poor and it had a massive impact on the way schools were run. Dickens hated Victorian schools; he saw the Victorian education system as boring and monotonous and often wrote essays to show his anger and frustration at the government and those responsible for what he saw as the poor schooling techniques. Dickens creates Coketown in this novel and it is used as a representation of the government at that time and is seen as a perfect world for the fact obsessed characters but the novel explores how this way of living is not healthy.

Dickens suggests that facts have become a way of life, like a religion, which was very unacceptable for that time because in the Victorian period people were especially religious and that facts were taking over a religion would have been seen as disgusting Dickens suggests that English towns around the industrialized era are ugly, polluted and debilitated, he suggests this because facts, repetition and the lack of individuality was taking over, one of the ways he achieves this is through his description of coketown. ‘Coketown’ suggests a very scary, dull and boring place, Dickens would have intended us to have this perception because this is how he saw the government’s way of teaching and he wanted us to perceive it in the same way that he did. He also wanted us to see through his description how monotonous and unhealthy the town and way of life in that area had become.

Dickens describes the school in this novel as bland, containing no creativeness, or embellishment, a framework built purely on facts and reality alone. The rooms consist of white-washed walls, stripped and bare revealing the actuality industry at the time. Dickens describes the rooms as ‘plain, bare monotonous vault of a school-room’. The word ‘vault’ suggests the school-room takes the image of a jail cell; bare, isolated, barred windows. Therefore this also suggests the pupils attending the school represent prisoners- influenced by the oppressive rules and watchful eye of Gradgrind. Their order is even arranged like prisoners, in a regular pattern, rows spaced evenly, closely monitored and not allowed to move.The rooms consist of white-washed walls, stript and bare revealing the actuality industry at the time. Dickens describes the rooms as ‘plain, bare monotonous vault of a school

One of the main statements Dickens is trying to make throughout this novel is the obsession and repetitiveness of facts. The word fact is repeated so much that it feels like its being shoved into the children’s heads. “We hope to have, before long, a board of fact, composed of commissioners of fact, who will force the people to be a people of fact and nothing but fact.” This firstly shows that it is not just Gradgrind that is obsessed with facts, it is the whole school; implying the whole education system is like this. Also they wish for the facts to be ‘forced’ upon all people as they are doing in the school. Dickens put Gradgrind across as forceful, having high standards, obsessed and full of facts and wishing every one of his pupils to be as smart as he is. Mr M’Choakumchild is portrayed very similarly to Gradgrind, this gives the impression that all teachers of this time were like this.

A character who is a representation for Dickens views is Gradgrind. He is used as a representation because he is made to be everything Dickens is against where education is concerned. ‘Forming the minds of reasoning animals’, Gradgrind is referring to the children as animals for testing out his way of education, he does not see them as human he sees them as animals that he needs to train to be just like him. However there are characters in the novel that challenge his way of teaching and try to be individual but Gradgrind sees this as wrong and tries to stop them and get them back in line. actuality industry at the time. Dickens describes the rooms as ‘plain, bare monotonous vault of a school-room’. The word ‘vault’ suggests the school-room takes the image of a jail cell; bare, isolated, barred windows. Therefore this also suggests the pupils attending the schooactuality industry at the time.

Dickens describes the rooms as ‘plain, bare monotonous vault of a school-room’. The word ‘vault’ suggests the school-room takes the image of a jail cell; bare, isolated, barred windows. Therefore this also suggests the pupils attending the school represent prisoners- influenced by the oppressive rules and watchful eye of Gradgrind. Their order is even arranged like prisoners, in a regular pattern, rows spaced evenly, closely monitored and not allowed to move.One character who shows a contrast to the Victorian education system is Sissy Jupe.

She is polite and full of life, she curtsy’s to address to Gradgrind and this shows how cheerful and polite she is. You can tell sissy loves and respects her father a lot from when she says ‘it’s father calls me Sissy sir’. Gradgrind tries to intimidate Sissy and because she is such a shy character Gradgrind easily embarrasses her with his intimidation ‘she would have blushed deeper, is she could have blushed deeper…’ This shows the healthy colour in her face which represents how full of life she is and the fact she could have blushed deeper and deeper shows that she has so many different ideas and wonderful individuality that they just want to burst out of her as she is being made to keep them locked inside her.

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