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Hard Times opens with a expression at a Utilitarian educational system. The readers are introduced to a method of learning that is centered merely on facts and nil else: no imaginativeness. and “unnecessary” information ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . Schoolmaster Thomas Gradgrind to the full supports the Utilitarian system. and has brought up his kids Tom and Louisa ( and their siblings ) in this manner. Mr. Gradgrind’s longtime pal Josiah Bounderby – a mill proprietor – is besides an partisan of Utilitarianism ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) .

Louisa Gradgrind is a suffering and misled misss. while his brother Tom is an unwholesome and ambitious immature adult male ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . When a circus performer’s girl. Sissy Jupe. enrolls at the Gradgrind School. she unsettles the people around her by her reading of life. which could be turned notional in contrast with the facts of Utilitarianism ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . Sissy’s male parent had outlasted his utility at the circus and ran off. abandoning Sissy. Mr. Gradgrind felt sorry for Sissy and hired her on as a retainer ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) .

One twenty-four hours. Messrs. Gradgrind and Bounderby informed Sissy that she had to make up one’s mind between populating a better life through obtaining instruction and go forthing all her circus friends behind. or travel with the circus ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . Effeminate chooses the former. because she knew that this is what her male parent wanted for her. and why he abandoned her. In the first chapter. we are besides introduced to the people at the factory. who is represented by Stephen Blackpool – who desired a divorce from his alcoholic married woman ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) .

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By the terminal of the first book. Mr. Grandgrind obtained Louisa’s consent to get married Mr. Bounderby ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . In Book 1. Mr. Dickens established differences between fact and illusion. There are no concealed metaphors in Mr. Dickens’ manner of composing in Book One. The teacher’s name is M’choackaumchild – reminiscent of choking children’s imaginativenesss ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . Mr. Gradgrind’s name symbolizes crunching of facts” ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) .

As clip went by. Sissy Jupe becomes a member of the Gradgrind household. and provides a contrast to the lacklustre Louisa. who has gotten married to Mr. Bounderby ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . In the interim. Tom tries his best to work his manner up in life ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . Tom makes friends with a darting associate of Mr. Bounderby. named James Harthouse. who develops an attractive force for Louisa ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . In due clip. he confesses his passion for Louisa. who spurn his progresss ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . Mr. Harthouse asked Louis to run off with him. but once more. Louisa turned him down ( Difficult Times… . . 2006 ) . Louisa returns to her male parent house and confronts his male parent about his pretentious manner of educating her. and of striping her of the existent facts of life ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) .

Meanwhile. Mr. Blackpool travels to Mr. Bounderby’s topographic point at the advise of his fancy man. Rachel. and informs Mr. Bounderby that that he is non fall ining the labour brotherhood due to its crooked foreman. Mr. Stackbridge ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . Mr. Bounderby accuses Blackpool of commitment and fires him from his occupation. on the topographic point. Meanwhile. Tom tells Mr. Blackpool to wait for him outside a bank. for new about a occupation Tom could hold for him. While waiting outside ( with Mr. Bounderby’s female parent. Mrs. Pegler ) . a larceny occurs at the bank ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) .

Mr. Blackpool and Mrs. Pegler instantly become suspects. When Mr. Gradgrind and Tom find that Mr. Blackpool has fallen into a mineshaft. the latter divulges that it was Tom who made him wait outside the bank ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . When Mrs. Pegler is found. she revealed that Mr. Bounderby is her boy. and that all his narratives of self-made success were a fake. Mr. Bounderby is humiliated ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) .

Mrs. Sparsit. a nosey adult female working in a bank who was spying on Mr. Harthouse and Louisa decides to state everything to Mr. Bounderby. who decided to give Louisa until 12 o’clock the following morning to reject Mr. Harthouse one time and for all. or the matrimony is forfeited ( Hard Times… . . 2006 ) . At the same clip. Mr. Bounderby confesses to Mrs. Sparsit that she was cognizant of everything about Louisa and Mr. Harthouse. and of Louisa’s preserved award. and how she went place to her father’s house in order to defy enticement. Mrs. Sparsit comes out in a bad visible radiation.

Louisa and her male parent are both positive that Tom was involved in the bank larceny. and that he framed up Mr. Blackpool. Tom admits it. Effeminate suggests that he hides with the circus. and his male parent finds a manner to direct him off from shame on board a ship. Mr. Gradgrind is outraged by how Tom turned out to be. and felt the weight of Utilitarianism prostration on him. Mr. Gradgrind gives up his system. and accepted the “circus philosophy”because of all the problems that Utilitarianism has brought on their lives.

Recuring Subjects in “Hard Times”

  • “Fact” V “Fancy”

The difference between fact and illusion is highlighted in the early pages of the novel. The Gradgrind system embraced a life full of facts and scientific discipline. and scorned the construct of an inventive life. Because of this. the Gradgrind system choked the psyches of their pupils small by small. It took a Sissy and her circus company to learn them that. in contrast. life can non be devoted entirely to labour. and that people have to be happy.

  • Fidelity

Fidelity touches on the struggles in personal involvements. honestness and fidelity that happens all through out “Hard Times. ” Messrs. Bounderby and Harthouse were systematically dishonest. while Louisa and Sissy were firm true. In Louisa’s narrative. her fidelity is highlighted when she refused Mr. Harthouse’s advances even though she has attracted to him. in malice of her displeasure with her hubby. Sissy’s fidelity is highlighted by her strong strong belief that the twenty-four hours will come when her male parent will come back for her.

  • Escape

The subject of flight underscores the huge difference between the lives of the rich and the hapless. In Mr. Blackpool. we see a adult male hankering to get away from his unhappy matrimony but can non even get away his dreams for repose. Tom indulges in frailties as flights from his deadening life. Louisa desires to get away from her father’s stiff system. Finally. Mr. Harthouse seeks flights in escapades. easy get awaying each clip when his escapades lose their lustre.

Mr. Gradgrind represent the English opinion category during the Industrial Revolution. Mr. Bounderby symbolizes the Darwinist thought that anyone can accomplish success through difficult work. This is really of import because we find out subsequently in the novel that he is a fraud. Te description of Coketown represents what the Industrial Revolution does to people – working but non populating a meaningful life.

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