The novel Hard Times Essay
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Sissy’s background was from the circus where people cared for one another and were generous. The circus was full of colour and creativity as opposed to Gradgrind’s facts and discipline. For sissy, moving in with the Gradgrinds was alien to her. When Sissy was asked in class whether she would have flowers on her carpet she said, “It wouldn’t hurt them sir. They wouldn’t crush and wither, if you please sir. They would be the pictures of what was very pretty and pleasant, and I would fancy.
” When Sissy moves in with the Gradgrinds she talks openly and with warmth and understanding about her father, “I came home from the school that afternoon, and found poor father just come home to, from the booth. And he sat rocking himself over the fire as if he was in pain” Sissy showed empathy in the understanding of her farther. Mr Gradgrinds intention to wipe out Sissys free spirit and free thinking was unsuccessful because it had already developed.
“Good gracious bless me, how my poor head vexed and worried by that girl Jupe’s so perseveringly asking, over and over again, about her tiresome letters. ” However Mr Gradgrind does smother Sissy to a degree as he is older and stronger. “At about this point Mr Gradgrind’s eye would fall upon her; and under the influence all that wintery piece if fact she will become torpid again” This shows that although he cannot stop her imagination he can dampen her spirit. But eventualy Mr Gradgrind gives up and accepts he cannot convert Sissy.
‘”I fear, Jupe” said Mr Gradgrind, “that your continuance at the school any longer would be useless. “‘ He gives Sissy the chance to stay with the Gradgrinds and look after Mrs. Gradgrind. Despite Sissy failing the experiment, he can still make her a “Hand” by helping his wife. Dickens’ view of education is extremely satirical. He does not agree with any of Gradgrinds views on how education should be presented. The way he goes about informing the reader of this is not subtle. The chapters in which he names are sarcastic, “Sissy’s progress”
Dickens uses irony here to sarcastically describe sissy’s lack of progress under Gradgrind’s’ education as he if failing sissy. “Never Wonder” Dickens enforces the narrow minded view of Gradgrind, telling Louisa to never wonder which is stupid as it is part of human nature to. He informs the reader what he thinks is happening to the children in the chapter title, “Murdering the innocents” Dickens relates to the story in the bible by the title as he thinks dickens is murdering the innocent children by taking their imagination and wonder out of their heads.