Hard times: for these times
Despite the title, Dickens's portrayal of early industrial society here is less relentlessly grim than that in novels by contemporaries such as Elizabeth Gaskell or Charles Kingsley. Hard Times weaves the tale of Thomas Gradgrind, a hard-headed politician who raises his children Louisa and Tom without love, of Sissy the circus girl with love to spare who is deserted and adopted into their family, and of the honest mill worker Stephen Blackpool and the bombastic mill owner Josiah Bounderby. The key contrasts created are finally less those between wealth and poverty, or capitalists and workers, than those between the head and the heart, between "Fact"-the cold, rationalistic approach to life that Dickens associates with utilitarianism-and "Fancy"-a warmth of the imagination and of the feelings, which values individuals above ideas.Concentrated and compressed in its narrative form, Hard Times is at once a fable, a novel of ideas, and a social novel that seeks to engage directly and analytically with political issues. The central conflicts raised in the text, between government's duty not to intervene to guarantee the liberty of the subject, and between quantitative and qualitative assessments of progress, remain unresolved today in the late or post industrial stages of liberal democracies.
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Contents Book the First Sowing Chapter I The One Thing Needful
Murdering the Innocents
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appeared asked believe Benjamin Disraeli better Bitzer Bleak House Bounderby of Coketown Bounderby's brother Charles Dickens Chartists Childers coom cried dark dear Dickens Dickens's door Egremont Elizabeth Gaskell eyes face fact factory fancy father fellow gende gendeman girl give Gradgrind hand Hard Harriet Martineau head hear heard heart honour hope Household Words James Harthouse Josiah Bounderby Jupe Kidderminster knew labour lady litde live looked Louisa ma'am manner Mary Barton masters mean mill mind moral nature never night novel old Bounderby old woman political poor Rachael returned round seemed Sissy sister Slackbridge Sleary Sparsit speak Stephen Blackpool stood stopped story street sure Tavistock tell thee there's things Thomas Carlyle thought Thquire tion took town turned voice walked wath whelp wonder young
Dead Hands: Fictions of Agency, Renaissance to Modern
Limited preview - 1999
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Willa Cather and France: In Search of the Lost Language
Robert James Nelson
Limited preview - 1988