‘Hard Times is a novel by Charles Dickens. It was created in sections; Sowing, Reaping and Cornering. Education was very strict and normal with opinions being forbidden. Gradgrind states “Facts alone are wanted in life” The school was not a stimulating place and you weren’t allowed to get your point across, there are also all different ages in one classroom. It was a dark and gloomy room and there was no communication between the teacher and the pupils. The pupils were numbered and never named, by there proper name. You were not praised if you did well but Gradgrind was pleased with Bitzer as he corrects sissy by saying a factual answer to the definition of a horse. Gradgrind’s view on education was opinions aren’t wanted and to be successful in life all you need are facts. Gradgrind say’s “what I want is facts.”
Tom and Louisa are brought up on facts. They don’t socialize or go out and see what happens outside of the house. They are lonely children. They want to see what happens outside the house so they go out to the circus that comes to their town. Where they see Sissy. Gradgrind cannot believe it! When he finds Tom and Louisa he says “With the whole of science before you…” When they get back he sends Tom and Louisa to do some more work and he thinks science should be enough-cold logic-puts science above arts. Tom and Louisa have been taught and trained to have no imagination. Gradgrind takes Sissy in wanting to prove his way is the best way. “I’ll have to take you in hand!”
Sissy was brought up in the circus able to socialize, read fiction and wasn’t restricted in any particular way. He classes her as a failure as he cannot educate her. Her imagination and feelings were just too strongly developed and therefore could not be suppresses. She was so very different to Tom and Louisa because she had been put out in the real world and met people as Tom and Louisa hadn’t. Also she liked to express her opinion as Tom and Louisa hadn’t been allowed.
When they are older Louisa is asked to marry someone she has grown up with and is old enough to be her father but she doesn’t know what love is. She is then in a loveless marriage and is emotionally developed. While she is in her marriage she has an affair with harthouse it is her feelings that were undeveloped that caused the scandalous relationship. Tom becomes a gambler and a thief he frames an innocent man names Stephen who later dies. Gradgrind see’s how unhappy Tom and Louisa are and questions his beliefs and wisdom f the heart and head. Gradgrind knows what he did wrong. “I don’t think I educated her in the right way.” He now feels guilty and sad because he has always been right and now everything he believes in is completely wrong.
Tom does escape; Gradgrind doesn’t know what to do so he goes to the circus for help off Mr.Sleary. Tom and Louisa were dragged away from there and now were going for help .So Gradgrind obiously had a change of heart. Bitzer tries to stop them as he has turned bitter from his education and now shows no compassion. Mr.Sleary’s view on too much learning is; “People must be amused” I think Charles Dickens was trying to tell us we must have a life outside of education and get the balance between the two correct. I agree with him as if you have to much education you will be miserable and have no relationships if you have a life without education you will never be succeed and not be happy with what you have got. You can always have too much of a good thing!