Hard Times" is the portrait of a rapidly changing society in the grasp of forces it has unleashed upon itself. Written in 1854, the novel depicts the various forces shaping Victorian England and how this affected social structure and mobility as well as education…
Utilitarianism was the brainchild of Jeremy Bentham ( 1748-1832), a personally eccentric philosopher and social reformer, who held that virtue was a matter of utility: an action was good if it helped to bring about the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Promulgation of that happiness was the function of the State, and education of the populace and extension of political franchise were fundamental tenets of Benthamism. Political Economy, on the other hand, was a socio-economic system deriving from Adam Smith ( 1723-90) and David Ricardo ( 1772- 1823), whose disciples taught that the distribution of wealth was governed by immutable laws of nature. National prosperity depended on the profits of industrialists, and the wages of workers could not rise without jeopardizing economic harmony, to the detriment of workers and industrialists alike. Because the pursuit of individual self-interest was held to promote the general welfare, the duty of the state was to adopt a policy of laissez-faire, in order to allow that inevitable process to operate freely, without interference. ( Dickens, Schilicke, 1989)
Dickens was vociferous against these theories and as he wrote to Charles Knight, he directed his satire " against those who see figures and averages and nothing else----the representatives of the wickedest and the most enormous vice of this time." (30 December 1854, Letters, 7: 492). Dickens was above all a humanist, and he deeply resented the reduction of human beings, their activities and perceptions to bare facts and figures, without emotion, feeling, or imagination. Having already written books like Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, he had realised that his satire and criticism hit home, and thus deliberately set out to write a novel in the background of industrialisation and its resultant severe inequalities of wealth, social class and education.
2.0. Coketown: the emblem of Dickens' message
In the course of the novel, Dickens' fictional Coketown, loosely based on towns like Manchester in Northern England and the Lancashire town of Preston, becomes emblematic of Dickens' perception of the connections between industrialisation, utilitarianism, education and the Victorian society. In Chapter 5 he describes Coketown:
"It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage.
It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled.
It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, and vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness.
Dickens paints the picture of an unnatural, defaced, polluted town filled with the noise and stench of machines at work, which is "savage". All public inscriptions in the town which are essentially its voice, are written in "black and white", in effect colourless, banal, with no identity of their own. It is the antithesis of individuality and personal freedom of expression, which are so essential to human happiness and virtue.
It pays no tribute to civilisation, culture or refinement, everything in it is "severely workful" and utilitarian. This starves the human craving ...
Cite this document
(“Dickens's Treatment of Education and Social Mobility in Hard Times Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.net/miscellaneous/306032-dickenss-treatment-of-education-and-social-mobility-in-hard-times
(Dickens'S Treatment of Education and Social Mobility in Hard Times Essay)
“Dickens'S Treatment of Education and Social Mobility in Hard Times Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/miscellaneous/306032-dickenss-treatment-of-education-and-social-mobility-in-hard-times.
Student’s Name Course Name Instructor’s Name Date Charles Dickens’ Hard Times: Argumentative Essay Regardless of the fact that Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times about Hard Times was written over a hundred and fifty years ago, it features compelling arguments on issues that are of relevance nowadays.
This was because of a series of tragic events at that stage of his life, but Dickens' satire does not lack anything in its bite because of this reported lack of inspiration.
Dickens was not merely a novelist, but also an active voice in social and educational criticism and reform in the Victorian times: ".
Squeers. ......While the Author cannot but feel the full force of the compliment thus conveyed to him, he ventures to suggest that these contentions may arise from the fact, that Mr. Squeers is the representative of a class, and not of an individual. Where imposture, ignorance, and brutal cupidity, are the stock in trade of a small body of men, and one is described by these characteristics, all his fellows will recognise something belonging to themselves, and each will have a misgiving that the portrait is his own'.(Dickens,1839)
Pip, the protagonist of Great Expectations is not a hero at all in the true "heroic" sense : "Great Expectations is an intriguing narrative because the first person narrator is a flawed character who must be punished, but he is also a moral center of the text for the distribution of forgiveness.
It does not allow the reader any space to entertain doubts regarding the message Dickens wanted to spell out regarding the society he was living in. Extreme contempt.
He hated the hypocritical way the wealthy aristocracy imposed their attitude on those who were poor.
This essay analyzes the novel Dombey and Son and represents the ways Dickens chose to focus on a single man, Mr. Dombey, painting his failures as being the direct result of emerging societal shortcomings, such as the concerns of ‘elite’ establishments and the constant societal jockeying for position and power among the social classes.
s was heavily critical of and at times influential upon the changing social culture of his times, particularly as it concerned social mobility and education. Through his novels, he was able to illustrate not only many of the problems and inherent negative outcomes of the
There would be a significant impact on society if it were to regress back into feudalism, where social standing was determined at birth. The purpose of this paper is to explore these effects and the impact on American society.
This paper discusses the conflict between facts and fancy as exhibited in the novel Hard Times by Dickens.
“Fact” in the novel Hard Times by Dickens is exhibited by characters whose roles are to orientate