Dickens' Attitude Toward Education in Hard Times Essay

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Dickens' Attitude Toward Education in Hard Times Dickens wrote Hard Times in 1854, when the industrial revolution was active. This influenced the way the book was written. In the first two chapters of Hard Times, Dickens' attitudes to education are presented. He uses two characters, Gradgrind and M'Choakumchild to show the bad views of education and the opposition to Dickens' views. There is an immediate tension between Dickens' way of thinking and Gradgrind's and M'Choakumchild's. Gradgrind and M'Choakumchild call the children vessels and do not use names but numbers. The children are allowed no independent thought. While Bitzer is how he is "supposed" to be, Sissy Jupe is free spirited and …show more content…

It is said that Gradgrind always mentally introduces himself, which suggests that he self conscious and wants to know who he is before he shares it with anyone else. He is also organised and this is seen when it says "with a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket". M'Choakumchild is introduced later in the second chapter; he is one of the one hundred and forty schoolmasters. Instead of the way he looked being described, like Gradgrind, his intelligence was described. The subjects and skills that he studied and has knowledge about were listed, e.g. "biography", "algebra" and "vocal music". M'Choakumchild knows a lot about these subjects because they are full of facts and imagination is not really needed to know about them. He believes that fact is all that the children need to know and like Gradgrind does not believe in freethinking. M'Chockumchild is the one who will teach the children how to be like in school life and social life. Gradgrind and M'Choakumchild are presented as plain people who do not like change. They have only one straight-forward idea of how the education system should be. They both see children as empty vessels and believe that they should be seen and not heard. Dickens' shows the juxtaposition of two pupils in the first two chapters; Sissy Jupe and Bitzer. Sissy Jupe is known as 'girl

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