Table of Contents Plot Overview Thomas Gradgrind, a wealthy, retired merchant in the industrial city of Coketown, England, devotes his life to a philosophy of rationalism, self-interest, and fact. He raises his oldest children, Louisa and Tom, according to this philosophy and never allows them to engage in fanciful or imaginative pursuits. He founds a school and charitably takes in one of the students, the kindly and imaginative Sissy Jupe, after the disappearance of her father, a circus entertainer.
An interactive data visualization of Hard Times's plot and themes. When Dickens was ten, the family moved to London and his father was thrown in debtors' prison. Dickens left school and worked in a boot-blacking warehouse to help support his household.
Free summary and analysis of the events in Charles Dickens's Hard Times that won't make you snore. We promise. Hard Times study guide contains a biography of Charles Dickens, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Study Guides Q & A. A short summary of Charles Dickens's Hard Times. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Hard Times.
He later returned to school but left at fifteen to work as a law clerk, a court reporter, and a political journalist before devoting himself to writing full-time.
Dickens also founded a theater company and a magazine, All the Year Round. He was unhappily married to Catherine Hogarth, with whom he had ten children.
Dickens was still writing when he died in and is buried in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner. Historical Context of Hard Times The technological innovations that gave rise to the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century introduced the first capitalist economy, opening social and financial opportunities to people who had never had the chance to gain status or wealth under the rigid hereditary class hierarchy of the past.
These opportunities enabled people born into lower classes to raise their standing in society by making money and acquiring education—this is apparently what happens to Mr. Bounderby although he isn't quite as self-made as he claims.
In many cases, however, it furthered the poverty of the working class, as the factory owners took advantage of their own success and the demand for labor and mistreated their factory workers. Unions were formed, but weren't always effective in fighting the abuses of the manufacturers, and sometimes were more of an evil than the evils they were originally created to combat.
This is the case at Stephen Blackpool's mill. Other Books Related to Hard Times North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, which also was serialized in Household Words, examines the delicate relationship between master and worker in industrial northern England.
Robert Thornton in that book, however, is a far better and more just master than Mr. Bounderby, though the problems of their workers are virtually the same.
Serialized between April 1, — August 12, Literary Period: Novel, Social Criticism Setting: Louisa, instead of eloping with James Harthouse, runs away from her husband to her father's home. Retrieved November 22, Background Information.
Charles Dickens is known for writing about life during the Industrial Revolution. Hard Times, published in , falls into this category. It focuses on the fictional town.
Complete summary of Charles Dickens' Hard Times. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Hard Times.
Summary and Analysis Book I, Chapter 8: Summary and Analysis. A concise biography of Charles Dickens plus historical and literary context for Hard Times.
Hard Times: Plot Summary A quick-reference summary: Hard Times on a single page. A concise biography of Charles Dickens plus historical and literary context for Hard Times. Hard Times: Plot Summary A quick-reference summary: Hard Times on a single page.
From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Hard Times Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays. Complete summary of Charles Dickens' Hard Times. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Hard Times.