But it could also be argued that the utilitarian way didn’t work for Gradgrind, Gradgrind just thought it worked. I say this, as he didn’t marry Mrs Gradgrind because he loved her he married her because she is weak, feeble and won’t disagree with Mr Gradgrind. The reader knows this as she has said plenty of times “My poor head continually wearing me out. ” This statement tells us that she is weak and feeble. “I shall never hear the last of it from your father.
” This shows that she can’t stand up to Mr Gradgrind. Another reason why it could be argued that the way Gradgrind was brought up didn’t work for him is that at the beginning of the novel Gradgrind tells us “Facts alone are what are wanted in life… nothing else will ever be of any service to them. ” But towards the end of the novel he admits his system failed as he says “there is a wisdom of the Head, and that there is a wisdom of the Heart. I have not supposed so; but, …
I mistrust myself now. ” A character that Dickens uses to portray the utilitarian system is Mr Bounderby. Bounderby mentions whenever he could about how he was “born in a ditch” and was a “vagabond” Dickens suggest here that Bounderby doesn’t care about anyone but himself. As Dickens describes him as “a rich man: banker, merchant, manufacturer and what not. ” Dickens is implying that he is a liar because if he was a vagabond, how did he become a rich man?
And as we see towards the end of the novel he was lying because it turns out that Mrs Peglar is Bounderbys mother and when Gradgrind confronts her of leaving Bounderby to in a ditch she denies is saying “Josiah in the gutter! ” “No such a thing” It is obvious that Bounderby cares only about himself and money, because when he finds out who has robbed him he carries on trying to get Tom arrested, even though it is his best friend’s son.
The reader knows this as Gradgrind says to Mr Sleary about Tom “He must be got to Liverpool and sent abroad. ” Whereas if Bounderby were a true friend he would have dropped that charges. Bounderby didn’t marry for love as Gradgrind says talking to Louisa about if she will marry Bounderby. “Bounderby does not do you the injustice … of pretending to do anything fanciful. ” And when his marriage is failing instead of talking it through with her and working it out, all he does is give Louisa an ultimatum through Gradgrind.
Which is “If she doesn’t come home by twelve o’clock at noon, I shall understand that she prefers to stay away. ” Bounderby has no feelings, as when sissy starts crying because her father has left her, Bounderby can’t be sympathetic or empathetic with her so he says “Let the girl understand the fact … Your father has absconded – deserted you – and you mustn’t expect to see him again as long as you live. ” Dickens is showing us that most people who have the utilitarian view, are like Bounderby, and have no feelings.