Analysis: 'Hard Times' by Charles Dickens

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Hard Times as a Social Commentary with Parallels in the Modern Era The novel Hard Times by Charles Dickens is clearly an incitement of the economic and social burden associated with economic and social disparity. The work is set in a small fictional mill town, Coketown, where the challenges of the newly emerging industrial revolution were fundamentally being set at the footsteps of the poor, who had little if any opportunity for upward mobility. During this period the alternatives for those with little money in the way of work were very few and most tasks were menial, dark and difficult. The challenges seen in this work, probably more than any other written by Dickens reflect his own experience as a child laborer during a period of economic unrest in his own family, when he was forced to work at a Blacking Warehouse, pasting labels on bottles with other child laborers in London after his father was arrested and placed in debtor's prison. (Hawes 10) Dickens through this experience was given a stark reality check with regard to the life of the poor. From this knowledge Dickens seems to have never really stepped away from this concern and in some way details this social and economic reality in all his works (Clausson 157). Without the economic means there was really no way for the poor to move out of the challenges of poverty as every type of vocational or even classical education costs far more than one could earn as a laborer. As is seen in his other works as well, without
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