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Dickens present Essay

Dickens was born on February 7th 1812, during the Victorian era. He wrote of the conditions and the people of his time while working as a reporter (for a paper called ‘Household Words’) being sent around the country. He spent much of his time exploring in the streets of London and wrote from experience and deep knowledge of his city, drawing character from his life and placing them in familiar situations and surroundings.

As a young boy, Dickens began work in a factory, which scarred his childhood. There were no health and safety laws and many working class children had to leave school at the age of twelve and child labour was commonplace. At the time of writing ‘Hard Times’ Dickens was separated from his wife, he was trapped, like Stephen Blackpool, the mill worker in an unhappy marriage. ‘Hard Times’ is one of Dickens’ shortest novels, it was first serialised in ‘Household Words’ and can be linked to his disturbed youth. The Industrial Revolution had transformed England from an agricultural nation into one that contained places like Coketown (used instead of Manchester). ‘Hard Times’ refers to the changes made by the Industrial Revolution.

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The nineteenth century was one of expansion and change in almost every activity. Between 1837 and 1901 the population of London more than doubled, because of steam power and new machinery used in mining, mills, potteries, and the railway. As most of Britain’s trade, and therefore money, was dependant on this, people moved to be closer to their work. Although this sudden and unprepared increase in population meant that living and working conditions changed lives daily causing workers to earn little and cities to become crowded as disease ridden slums.

The subtitles for the three books of the novel – ‘Sowing’, ‘Reaping’, and ‘Garnering’ – have strong Biblical references. ‘Sowing’ has sixteen chapters, in which the setting and characters are sown. By the end of this book we can begin to understand the destinies of the characters. ‘Reaping’ has twelve chapters and reflects the harvest: copious for some but meagre for others. In this book we see a sudden change to the characters worlds Dickens has created. ‘Garnering’ has nine chapters. Just as Biblical Ruth garnered the fields, picking wheat dropped by the reapers, the characters also garner, in order to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives after the failure of Gradgrind’s educational system of ‘Facts, facts, facts.’ The first three chapters describe the seeds that the character Thomas Gradgrind sows. He believes that the children should learn of fact, not fancy: of conformity, not curiosity: of sense, not sentimentality. His didactic monosyllabic repetitious speech shows to the reader the hardness of his character and what he sees as of main importance to his children:

“Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, root out everything else.” As Gradgrind dictates to his audience of young children in a dry voice, Dickens shows the reader that the planting (or sowing) of facts into the minds of these children was paramount to the education system at this time. It promotes harshness, coldness, and a mind, which is prohibited to imagine but only allowed to learn facts.

When Dickens describes characters to the reader, he does so in minute detail. When describing Gradgrind -in the second paragraph- Dickens puts emphasis on the word ‘square’ when describing the speaker’s appearance. This gives Gradgrind a mechanical appearance and the repetition of the word emphasises this: “Square coat, square legs, square shoulders”

Gradgrind’s appearance is one of fact. Gradgrind is seen as a being of a threatening and unattractive appearance. The word ‘square’ is used five times and is echoed by the emphasis on straight lines and dark recesses. This reflects the sunkenness of Gradgrind’s eyes and the similarities can be drawn between his eyes and the vault of his schoolroom. There is repetition in the style of language used to describe him. For example, the constant repetition of the phrase, “The emphasis was helped”, in the opening of four consecutive sentences.

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Dickens present Essay
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Dickens was born on February 7th 1812, during the Victorian era. He wrote of the conditions and the people of his time while working as a reporter (for a paper called 'Household Words') being sent around the country. He spent much of his time exploring in the streets of London and wrote from experience and deep knowledge of his city, drawing character from his life and placing them in familiar situations and surroundings. As a young boy, Dickens began work in a factory, which scarred his chil
2021-07-13 03:39:41
Dickens present Essay
$ 13.900 2018-12-31
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