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Charles Dickens, Hard Times

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Hard times Charles Dickens essay outline

Hard times Charles Dickens essay outline

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Essay hard times outline Introduction General info, for example: Time and place written: London, 1854. Date of publication: pubished in serial instalments in Dickens’ magazine Household Words from April 1st to August 12th, 1854. Time: middle of the nineteenth century Place: Coketown, a manufacturing town in South England

Discuss idea of people in Victorian age: three classes still Higher class: very few people, very fond of themselves and look down at lower class Middle class: not very rich actually but lived a better life than lower class Lower class: must work very hard and do not like the industrialisation Introduce thesis: In the novel Hard Times, the characters are representational for the time and place the story was written in, which can be seen by language, the setting and the name of the characters.

Paragraphs Paragraph I To start with, language is a significant thing in the representation of the characters for the time and place the novel was written in as they use language significant to their ‘group’. Look how we live, an’ wheer we live, an’ in what numbers, an’ by what chances, an’ wi’ what sameness; and look how the mills is awlus a-goin’, and how they never works us no nigher to onny distant object-‘ceptin awlus Death.

Hard times Charles Dickens essay outline

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Look how you considers of us, and writes of us, and talks of us, and goes up wi’ your deputations to Secretaries o’ State ‘bout us, and how yo are awlus right, and how we are awlus wrong, and never had’n no reason in us sin ever we were born. Look how this ha’ growen an’ growen sir, bigger an’ bigger, broader an’ broader, harder an’ harder, fro year to year, fro generation unto generation. Who can look on’t sir, and fairly tell a man ‘tis not a muddle? Stephen Blackpool’s speech to Bounderby, from Book the Second, Chapter 5, is one of the few glimpses that we receive into the lives of the Hands.

His long sentences and repetition of words such as “an’” and “Look” mimic the monotony of the workers’ lives. Similarly, Stephen’s dialect illustrates his lack of education and contrasts with the proper English spoken by the middle-class characters and by the narrator. Paragraph II Secondly, the setting in the novel helps emphasising the time and place the novel was written in since Coketown was an industrial town etc etc. Coketown lay shrouded in a haze of its own, which appeared impervious to the sun’s rays.

You only knew the town was there because you knew there could have been no such sulky blotch upon the prospect without a town. A blur of soot and smoke, now confusedly tending this way, now that way, now aspiring to the vault of Heaven, now murkily creeping along the earth, as the wind rose and fell, or changed its quarter: a dense formless jumble, with sheets of cross light in it, that showed nothing but masses of darkness—Coketown in the distance was suggestive of itself, though not a brick of it could be seen. Like many other descriptions of Coketown, this passage, from Book the Second, Chapter 1, emphasizes its somber smokiness.

The murky soot that fills the air represents the moral filth that permeates the manufacturing town. Similarly, the sun’s rays represent both the physical and moral beauty that Coketown lacks. While the pollution from the factories makes Coketown literally a dark, dirty place to live, the suffering of its poor and the cold self-interest of its rich inhabitants render Coketown figuratively dark. In stating that Coketown’s appearance on the horizon is “suggestive of itself,” the narrator implies that Coketown is exactly what it appears to be.

The dark “sulky blotch” hides no secrets but simply represents what is, on closer inspection, a dark, formless town. Built entirely of hard, red brick, Coketown has no redeeming beauty or mystery—instead, it embodies Mr. Gradgrind’s predilection for unaccommodating material reality. Paragraph III Thirdly, Dickens used his way to give his characters names which have a meaning carrying with them. For example Bitzer, which sounds very sharp and hostile or mr. M’Choakumchild being “choke-a-child” this is very significant for the time the novel was written in and especially for Dickens.

Brandon Johnson
Author: Brandon Johnson

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