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Hard Times in His Novel Essay

… Before considering Coketown, however, it is necessary to consider the rest of the important characters, because their lives all contribute to Dickens' critique of Utilitarianism. In addition to Gradgrind and Bounderby, who represent the most obvious avatars of Utilitarianism in the novel, Hard Times also features somewhat more minor characters that nevertheless contribute to its critique of Bentham's philosophy. For example, Mrs. Gradgrind comically demonstrates the novel's critique of Utilitarianism and its overstated concern for logic when she tells Louisa to "go and be somethingological directly," as if being "somethingological" is the only thing that is important, regardless of what the particular object of study is.

The narrator states that Mrs. Gradgrind is free from fancy, "and truly it is probably she was as free…. [read more]

Dickens and Hypocrisy an Analysis Research Paper

… In other words, despite the depravity and social injustice that Dickens saw and reflected in his works, Dickens loved London. As an artist, however, he was obliged to reflect the time in which he lived. His society was one in which Protestantism had come to roost. As E. Michael Jones states, Protestant England was "the social underpinning of the high noon of capitalism in northern Europe and England where 'God is become Industry' (Jones 16). Industry was not God, however, for Dickens, and each of his works illustrates that fact with force and imagination, serving not only as a reflection of the arbitrary and hypocritical ways of his society but also as an indictment of the evils and ills of Victorian England.

Works Cited

Diamond,…. [read more]

Dickens the Characterization of Thomas Gradgrind Term Paper

… Dickens

The Characterization of Thomas Gradgrind and Josiah Bounderby in Hard Times

Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times is constructed around the opposition between the fact and fancy. The author criticizes the nineteenth century materialist and utilitarian philosophy, which had turned man into a simple cog in the large machine of the society. The pun in the title of the novel alludes to the "facts philosophy" promoted by the Industrial Age: "hard times" is a phrase usually used to designate a time of hardships or difficulties, but Dickens also uses it to hint at the stiffness and insensibility specific to his age. The book is, at the same time, a social and a philosophical critique. Dickens denounces the political economy and the law system of the…. [read more]

Hard Times in Sharp Contrast Term Paper

… Gradgrind, thoroughly convinced that industrialization, individualism, and reason trump imagination, demand that his children neglect their innate playfulness and creativity. As a result, Tom and Louisa suffer from emotional and psychological despair. For them, the circus and people like Sissy who are associated with it, represent hope in humanity. Sissy's loving and innocent nature is an ideal counterbalance for the cold, harsh, emotionless nature of men like Gradgrind. When the circus performers eventually come to his son's aid, however, Gradgrind realizes that there is more to life than petty drudgery and industrial progress. Therefore, by helping Tom escape, the circus ironically comes to symbolize actual pragmatic hope as well as philosophical hope.

The circus's negative connotations include poverty, anti-intellectualism, irrationality, irresponsibility, and unchecked idealism. However,…. [read more]

Dickens and Bronte Term Paper

… Dickens & Bronte

Keeping the Spirit of the Past, Present, and Future -- Bronte and Dickens

Both Emily Bronte's Victorian gothic novel Wuthering Heights and Charles Dickens's popular short seasonal story "A Christmas Carol" make use of innovative narrative strategies to suggest the persistence of the past in the present lives of the protagonists. Both novels make use frame tales in their respective structures whereby the majority of the narrative takes place in a kind of 'in between' place of past and present. In Bronte's tale, Lockwood offers an ear by which the reader may access the tale of the protagonist's conjoined and tormented pasts, as witnessed by the stalwart Nelly Dean. In Dickens, Scrooge's complex past as a young man rising to fortune explains…. [read more]

Hard Times and Dickens Research Paper

… Dickens is always generous, he is generally kind-hearted, he is often sentimental, he is sometimes intolerably maudlin." (Chesterton, 1) Again, in this critique, there is almost a benefit of the doubt given to the indulgence in his moralizing and the relative inflexibility of his character which makes the argument that Dickens is fully aware of the tendencies which have often seen him so roundly criticized. Nonetheless, he finds a purposefulness in an approach where moral impressions are unmistakable. As he had done quite often in his career, with Hard Times, "Dickens again flies the banner of social reform, touching on themes of industrialization, education, and Utilitarianism in the sweeping Industrial Revolution of the 1850's." (Perdue, 1) In doing so, he would also position himself to…. [read more]

Charles Dickens the Nineteenth Century Term Paper

… Charles Dickens

The nineteenth century was the grand age of the English novel. This period was mainly of the middle-class, who rose in power and significance and the literary form of art boomed at this period as there was a steady increase in the reading population and there were developments in publishing. At that time, the novel was the medium that gave them the picture of a life the middle-class people wanted to know about. With Charles Dickens (1812-70), writing and melodrama are collected into the novel to give it new life and a new and significant place in middle-class entertainment. Dickens learned from his conditions and opinion mixing the unusual savor for the peculiar, the bright and the impressive in metropolitan life and in…. [read more]

Literature and the City the Presentation of London in Three Novels by Charles Dickens Essay

… London and Dickens

The City of London in Charles Dicken's Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and a Christmas Carol

The Dickensian city, while a reflection of social injustices, is not strictly limited to depicting humanity in the light of such suffering. For Dickens there is a wider hope -- a higher heaven than Victorian socialism can afford. Socialism is the economist's hope for heaven on earth. Dickens connects his London characters to another heaven -- this one attained by uniting oneself to the sufferings, not of the poor, but of the Christian Savior. It is no coincidence that in David Copperfield, the eponymous hero should fall in love with a girl named Agnes (who embodies all the virtues of meekness like the spiritual Lamb for whom…. [read more]

Great Expectations Dickens Judges Term Paper

… Pips progress, his fall and final enlightenment, is the vehicle that allows us to see the characters in their true light and not only in terms of their appearances. In this sense the relationship that Pip has with Joe is an important indicator or moral gauge, as the reader progresses through the novel.

When Pip encounters the world of Miss Havisham his innocence, already upset by his meeting with the criminal Magwitch, is shattered. In Satis house he encounters the antithesis of the straightforward innocence and warmth of Joe Gargery and enters into a social milieu that is steeped in concepts of social hierarchy and class, status and decadent desires.

But at Satis House, Pip also discovers that, to the upper classes of society, a…. [read more]

American Notes by Charles Dickens Term Paper

… American Notes

When Charles Dickens arrived in the United States in 1842, he had already become an established author with such books as the Pickwick Paper, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. When he wrote American Notes as a result of this trip, his negative views on America were therefore all the more disturbing. Yet, looking back on this book over 150 years later, it is still possible to learn from his critiques of this early democratic country. Many of the concerns he had then continue to this day.

Charles Dickens, one of the most recognized authors, was born in England in 1812 and had a very psychologically disturbing childhood. Because his father could not pay his debts, Dickens' family had to stay in a debtors'…. [read more]

Metonyms in Dickens Essay

… Metonymics in "Little Dorit"

Metonymy is a literary term that is used to describe a concept that is not called by its own name, but rather by something symbolically associated with it that has a deeper, metaphorical meaning. For example, the words "white coat" could be utilized to infer a doctor or medical professional or the city "Washington" could refer to a governmental decision, as in "Washington's policy of…." Metonymy works in literary prose by the association between two concepts -- metaphor by the similarity. Typically, use of metonymy presupposes that the speaker or author wishes to transfer the archetypal qualities of one item into the other, all without a large explanation of those qualities. For example, the American stock system is referred to by…. [read more]

Christmas Carol and Karl Marx Essay

… Dickens and Marx

The England depicted by Charles Dickens in his a Christmas Carol was also the world that influenced Karl Marx, for he was living in England when he wrote the Communist Manifesto and certain other works along with Friedrich Engels. What Marx had to say about the nature of capitalist society and about the struggle between classes can be applied to the imae of economic relations offered by Dickens in this book, and for that matter in other books by Dickens. Dickens was a social critic as well as a novelist and often commented on the social order of his time in his fiction. His book Hard Times is set in a region he calls Coketown, and the latter represents much of the…. [read more]

Stereotypes Practitioners of Certain Religions Essay

… The photographer who wanted the hairpiece wanted to use the accessory to show how women were struggling during the time of the Taliban in the Muslim society. Al-Marayati writes: "She didn't understand that her assumption was the equivalent of assuming that every Latino has a Mexican sombrero in their closet" (1). This photographer, who is a person that lives outside of the culture, can only understand the Muslim people through the stereotypes that they have beforehand.

Much of the world's perception of the Muslim culture has been determined, not by the actual population of people who practice the religion, but by the media portrayals of certain individuals who do happen to wear traditional garb. What the authors of "An Indentity Reduced to a Burka" are…. [read more]

Social Times and the Culture of New Term Paper

… Social Times and the Culture of New York's: Harlem: From the 'Harlem Renaissance' Period to 1960

Few if any American cities or geographical areas have undergone as many demographic; economic or cultural changes; "reinventions" and metamorphoses as New York's Harlem. Starting in the mid-to-late 17th century, when Harlem acquired its first white Dutch-transplant European settlers, Harlem has changed almost continuously: demographically; economically, culturally, reputation-wise and otherwise. Still, not withstanding the white Dutch settler population of Harlem's earliest days; and then in the 19th century, a period when the name 'Harlem' was "a synonym for elegant living... " (Duberman, 1968). The issues, events, and personalities that have made Harlem one of America's most distinct communities spring from the late 19th-to-early-to-mid 20th century belief in advancement of…. [read more]

Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft Sociology Research Paper

… " (Dickens, 1854, p. 100) And Sissy's own father abandons her, not for selfish reasons, but because it is what is best for Sissy and her future.

The concepts of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft can also been seen in the relationship between Louisa and Mr. Bounderby. At first it seems that it should be the perfect relationship, he is a self-made man, and a supporter of the utilitarian point-of-view, while she is the product of a utilitarian household and education. However, the natural, organic, loving relationship between a husband and wife is not something that can be treated like a business proposal, as Bounderby does. When Louisa is tempted by a loving, caring relationship with James Harthouse, although she ultimately rejects him, she also then rejects…. [read more]

Crime, Punishment and Justice Term Paper

… Wemmick is a good man who fully accepts the rottenness of a system by which he exists, but who managers not to be destroyed by it (Lucas 305).

Jaggers, the lawyer, is made to speak of how he is exposed to 'an atmosphere of evil', where nearly all the children he sees are regarded as "so much spawn, to develop into fish that were to come to his net to be prosecuted, defended, forswore, made orphans, bedeviled somehow" (Dickens 377). Dickens paints the picture of this ruthless, cool-headed, hard man whose awareness of what his commitment to the dirt of life comes out in the fact of his compulsive hand-washing (Lucas 308).

Dickens describes the squalor of the penitentiary when Pip first arrives in London…. [read more]

Historical Novel in Victorian Literature Term Paper

… ¶ … Tale of Two Cities is long-lasting evidence to the best, and an intense analysis of the worst of human nature. Charles Dickens set out to make the French Revolution live in the minds and hearts of the reader. Human suffering is not the only problem that faced the French people in the 18th Century. With all the injustices and poverty highlighted, A Tale of two Cities is a journeying of situations that will go on just as long as inequity and violence continue to flourish. However, while the novel is a social critique, it is also an examination of the restraints of human injustice where innocent people are killed and imprisoned. In this regard, this paper highlights social upheaval and restoration of social…. [read more]

People of Different Social Classes Term Paper

… In that way it is quite different to the Oliver Twist where the wealthy gentleman is shown as gentle, genteel, kind, and considerate -- in complete polarity to the uncouth and brutal Fagin and his slippery world.

In Great Expectations, Pip comes to see that simple though he is, Magwitch is head and shoulders above the aristocratic and snobbish Mrs. Havisham and her beautiful daughter Estelle as well as the wealthy students, whose circles he will later wander in.

Great Expectations is a story of greater sophistication and depth. It leads us through all societies and as it does so it makes us think.

Whilst Twist may be a volume of the underworld and of social change, great expectations is a thoughtful look on the…. [read more]

Industrial Revolution Essay

… ¶ … Charles Dickens builds a portrait of a fictional English industrial town called Coketown in the grip of the Industrial Revolution and the philosophies which drove it forward. He uses a number of literary elements such as characterization, symbols, and themes to tell a story which has as its primary purpose the painting of difficulties that the both the working classes and the owning classes underwent as the nation moved through this difficult period. In this brief paper, some of the primary literary elements utilized by Dickens will be explored in order to show what he intended to say about the English Industrial Revolution.

Dickens opens his novel with the character of Gradgrind telling the school teacher at his children's school that he wants…. [read more]

Tale of Two Cities Essay

… ¶ … Tale of Two Cities

One of the most interesting points of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities is the surprise ending in which Sydney Carton, a character who is corrupt and represents many of the negative aspects of the time during which the novel takes place, does a supremely good deed to save the lives of the main characters. However, a close read of this novel demonstrates that well before that shocking ending, the author was subtly planting clues to foreshadow the conclusion. An examination of the themes of this work of literature reveals the fact that the author actually did provide a number of clues that effectively foreshadow Carton's final good deed.

The principle theme that Dickens bases the plot around…. [read more]

Facts Alone Are Wanted in Life Discuss in Relation to Hard Times by Charles Dickens Essay

… ¶ … Alone are Wanted in Life

In the novel, Hard Times for These Times a picture of the different social classes is portrayed by Charles Dickens. The novel is set in the Victorian era and the reader is introduced to many different characters that are either well-to- do or poor. There are several characteristics that can be associated with the Victorian Era such as industrialism, economic prosperity and utilitarianism ( Dickens touches on all of these characteristics as he intertwines them in this tale. At times, it seems as though there are maybe too many characters for the reader to keep track of, but as the story progresses we find that each and every character in the book plays an important role whether large…. [read more]

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens Essay

… David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Clara Peggotty

In spite of the fact that she bares the same name as David Copperfield's mother, Clara, Peggotty is not surpassed by her when regarding the goodness present in each of the two women. Peggotty's love for David almost equals that of his own mother, especially considering that she cares for him across her life. The woman's support is not only focused on David, as she also assists Clara in times when she is unable to make it on her own. Peggotty's altruism knows no boundaries, considering that she does not hesitate to help David even after she marries Mr. Barkis. As a result of Clara dying somewhat early in the novel, Peggotty assumes the role of a surrogate…. [read more]

Woodstock Music Festival of 69 Term Paper

… Charles Dickens opens one of his novels with the idea that "it was the best of times; it was the worst of times." Times of transition can be troubling and unsettling, and the four day rock concert known as "Woodstock" occurred in unsettled times.

Music has reflected its culture and times during which it was written for as long as we have had ways to make a record of music. Because of that, looking at the music of an era can provide a valuable glimpse of what life was like during the time and place it developed. Music historians, for instance, have looked at the growth and development of jazz and can see African and Caribbean influences. Those influences come from the slaves who came…. [read more]

Truman Capote's Life, Times, and Works Term Paper

… Truman Capote

The Life, the Author

The purpose of this work is to critically analyze the works of Truman Capote through comparison of his works, his life, times and influences on his work.

Truman Capote was born in 1924 and died in California in the year 1984. He was an American novelist, playwright and short-story writer also writing novels, novellas, travel writing, profiles, reportage, memoirs, plays and films and was a noted stylist upon publication of his earliest writings. He was born in New Orleans to a salesman and a 16-year-old mother who was touted to be a 'beauty-queen'. His father worked clerking for a steamboat company and generally hopped from job to job never remaining employed at any one place for very long. The…. [read more]

Classism and Racism Literature Term Paper

… Classism and Racism

Literature is a reflection of the world of the writer, not only as he or she sees it but often as it is. The writer experiences the world as if he or she is an observer and feels compelled by some unknown force to express the story of the world in which he or she lives. In many cases these stories are wrought with messages that are progressive even revolutionary for their time but are considered archaic in the legacy of the work. Within two works in particular this can be seen. Charles Dickens in Hard Times, racism and classism as well as does Mark Twain in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The perceptions of the work detail both a step back…. [read more]

Tale of Two Cities Term Paper

… He also is sad that "chivalry" seems to be disappearing after the Revolution, which also shows how much of a snob he is, and how he lives in the past. He cannot concede that change is good and inevitable. He wants to hang on to the old ways, while Dickens sees more promise for the future. That is why he ends his book on a hopeful note, with the young family reunited and a man giving his life so they can live happily ever after. However, Burke ends his book on a much more serious note. While he concedes that some good might actually have come from the Revolution, he does not believe the violence and overthrow was necessary. He writes, "To give them credit…. [read more]

Home: David Copperfield and Joseph Term Paper

… What kinds of things does Dickens criticize? How does he want things to be different? What does he want his readership to take away from the novel?

David Copperfield, on its surface, appears to be a novel of social criticism. David's extradition from the middle class he has been brought up in, and insertion into hard labor in a factory at a young age seems like a clear critique of the child labor that was so common at the time. However, David the author as well as David the child does not express much outrage that children in general are forced to work -- rather, he stresses the difference in dialogue and intellectual capacity between himself and his fellow laborers. Instead, David stresses the injustice…. [read more]

Aspects of Urban Spaces in Oliver Twist Term Paper

… ¶ … Urban Spaces in Oliver Twist

The plot of Oliver Twist might be boiled down to an essential struggle between men and their environments. Admittedly, human antagonists -- the living, breathing kind -- exist, and even dominate, the work, however they might be understood as pieces of setting at times, rather than free-agents. if, to follow the critic Harold Bloom, we can agree that Dickens's is "a world of caricatures and grotesques," we find that many of the characters, being only partially rounded themselves, exist as facets of a larger, hidden character; they are aspects of a fully-conceived, wholly-rounded meta-character, a character who, in Oliver Twist, might be taken to be the setting itself. and, though the reader travels through many settings in these…. [read more]

Home Exam Term Paper

… Dickens suggests, like a prophet, this is how things should be. Jane Austen in a different fashion uses her novels for morally instructing and uplifting, or 'teaching' purposes as well, as is seen in Emma. But rather than punishing Emma, however, with a bad fate, in direct contrast to Dickens, Austen morally educates her main character. In other words, in Dickens, bad things happen to bad people, and good characters may suffer but are rewarded. Austen shows characters capable of moral change, even if they begin badly. Dickens thus is a prophet of plot, while Austen a prophetic seer of human character.

Both of these late and early Victorian novelists, Dickens and Austen, are constantly in the act of judging all of their characters. Even…. [read more]

Oh, to Be England Term Paper

… Through his short passages are descriptive paragraphs that paints an acute picture of the countryside, or the life, most had not seen or experienced first hand in England: "The plain is covered with the swarming multitude: bands of stalwart men, broad-chested and muscular, wet with toil, and black as the children of the tropics: troops of youth -- alas! Of both sexes -- though neither their raiment nor their language indicates the difference: all are clad in the male attire.some are -- the mothers of England! But can we wonder at the hideous coarseness of their language when we remember the savage rudeness of their lives?.Infants of four and five years of age, many of them girlsentrusted with the fulfillment of most responsible duties.Their labour…. [read more]

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