Dicken's Hard Times

1535 Words Mar 8th, 2013 7 Pages
Dickens’ Hard Times
“Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life.” (Dickens, 1854, p.1)
With these beginning sentences of the novel “Hard Times”, Charles Dickens has made readers doubt whether it is true that facts alone are wanted in life. This question leads to the main theme of the story, fact against fancy, that author has never been written this kind of plot in his other stories before. In fact, Hard Times is considered as "the unlike-the-rest of Dickens’ works" (Collins, 1992, p.xi) because the plot is not involved the social problems in Victorian Age such as poverty or child labor, but it is "an abstract that exalts instinct above reason." (Collins, 1992, p.xiii)
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In order to help his son, Mr. Gradgrind eventually has to ask Sleary’s circus, who he never favour because they teaches children with imagination, for help and he comes to realize that his philosophy he has been teaching all along for his children is a failure. The story also contains many subplot stories such as an impossible love between Louisa and Mr. Harthouse, a secret life of Mr. Bounderby and a social class love. With his sharp and sarcastic writing skill, Hard Times receives impressive critiques from many admirers. The outstanding critique is one from Dr F. R. Leavis in 1948 that says“… of all Dickens’ works the one that has all the strength of his genius, together with a strength no other of them can show—that of a completely serious work of art…” (Collin, 1992, p.xii). These three facts of this novel even make it more astonishing. A good novel not only gives reader an appreciation but also provides some points that need to be analyzed through critical thinking process. So does the Hard Times, it is a valuable novel that I favor and have critical reflections on the Dickens’ satire, the well-rounded characters and the comparison on the different abstract ideas. I was hooked by this novel right from the first three sentences, claimed at the beginning of the essay, because it provokes readers’ brain to think until we find the answer that it is wrong to lean on facts alone in life and that is the first satire in a story. There is the using

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