The comparison between employer and employee is stressed every time Bounderby meets Stephen Blackpool and the comparison can be clearly seen, as when Bounderby and Blackpool are at the table, Bounderby’s half is full of silver china and saucers, while Blackpool’s is empty, this shows the power balance between the two-i. e. all the power is in Bounderby’s hands, as is the wealth and the control.
Blackpool’s word is rarely trusted by those in power over Bounderby’s and they are so very different in almost all respects, with Bounderby’s life taking its own cource with his allegiance with Gradgrind in Parliament, while Blackpool only has Rachel caring for him, as compared to the city he is another nobody down on his luck.
The story also shows family bonds through difficult situations, with the major family scenario of the Gradgrind’s the son and daughter are raised by their father in a factual heartless way, even though he does not realise this, he does go on to realise his mistake, with the mother of the family disabled and unable to move around due to sickness, being manipulated by everyone who walks by, as she has no dominance over anything indeed, and her character suggests she agrees with her husband on the factual upbringing of their children, and also shows the strains the family goes through after Louisa marries Mr Bounderby, and Tom gets involved in the bank robbery, and the family has to somehow try to bounce back, but does not manage to succeed with only a neutral ending The other families mentioned are the bond of father and child in Cissy Jupes Tale, the Man and wife in Blackpool’s unhappy marriage, and the twist in the story with Mr Bounderby’s mother appearing and explaining his upbringing Language
Dickens uses a variety of techniques in hard times, mostly descriptive; giving a chance of detail good enough to imagine it, but for everyone’s imagination to be different, repetition gets across the steely characters characteristics For Louisa he uses a simple vocabulary, using childly words and simple phrases meant with good intention on her behalf, with no academical subtext or complicated phrases, showing that she’s a good and kind hearted person, but also slightly dim compared to the other main characters The language of Mr Gradgrind is always very well developed, and while the descriptions of him make us see a rigid robot like figure, he does speak intellectually throughout the story
Mr Bounderby however is much more rigid in his language and expresses his thoughts using what’s a fact instead of what’s humane, and this always puts him in a negative light, he may have been ‘born upside down’ where he would have always had such views, and always acted on factual or instinct data to prove his point The language of tom and Louisa has two stages during the story, at first they talk in only facts, with little feeling or emotion in their words, but occasionally while in private they speak out freely, or as freely as they can, but in the presence of others they stick to their blank expressions and factual sentences During toms elder years he begins to talk more like his father, with a free stroke in his speech and has retained some independence while still being accepted by his father and friends
Louisa in her elder years changes little to her younger equivalent and stays rigid and factual, showing a feeling of repressed anger inside her Mrs Gradgrind is a poorly woman and her language reflects that, being incomplete, with words missing from sentences and grammatical errors if not for which she would sound like Mr Gradgrind, but throughout her brief appearances she keeps her grumbling simple and unimportant The language used by Blitzer is the product of Mr’s Gradgrind and Bounderby’s teachings and shows the heartless product of their ideal. in the end they both regret their schooling of Blitzer and realise their wrong, but only too late for some
The other controversial language used is that of Mr Sleary the Circus leader, who uses a range of bizarre phrases in between his sentences and makes his appearance misunderstood and diverse compared to the other characters’ Conclusion So in conclusion with my previous statements, as listed above, the novel Hard times has a monotone view of Victorian society
With all characters at a set point being either extremely good or eminently bad, in character and in appearance, much of which suggests that the focus of the story is based solemnly on interaction between characters, and no room for backdrops has been spared from steel bins burning in the winter cold, glum industrial streets and houses varying from basic to lavish all showing the contrast between the rich striving to change society the poor striving to stay out of trouble, and those who strive to be rich