Hard Times Character Analysis

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The novel Hard Times written by renowned author Charles Dickens is a tale that takes place in Coketown, England, during the Industrial Revolution. The book primarily focuses on two distinct classes within the city. The wealthy class, makes up a minority of the population, consisting mostly of unimaginative business owners. While the lower class is made up of workers, whose only reward in life, is death. One of Dicken’s main characters, Thomas Gradgrind Jr. plays an important role, validating the theorem that a character’s trait can cause his or her downfall. Growing up as the eldest son of very wealthy parents, Tom was taught to only care for facts and himself. Throughout the novel, Tom’s devotion to display a great sense of indulgence is what causes for his demise.
At a young age, Tom was taught that the only thing necessary in life was “facts and facts alone”, exempting him from any morality or emotion. This philosophical belief impacts Tom’s eldest sister most of all. For all of her youth, Louisa cared for brother, because he was her spark of life during her depression. Time nears for Tom to leave home and go work at a bank, for his father’s friend Mr. Bounderby. He begs his sister to marry the vulgar man, claiming that he couldn’t stand to be away from her. She obliged -though she detests Mr. Bounderby. After learning that Louisa would do anything for him, Tom manipulated her love to improve his quality of life at Bounderby's Bank. During the several years of her unhappy marriage, Louisa supplies her brother with money -by selling her “trinkets” or dispensable wedding gifts- to pay for his gambling. After a visit from a master seducer Jim Harthouse, Tom drunkenly reveals that he used his sister’s presence to pay off his gambling debts and to avoid conflict with Mr. Bounderby. While trying to win Louisa’s affections, Harthouse informs Louisa about Tom’s unkind behavior toward her, and she cuts Tom off. Though this may seem like a victorious event, it ends up paving the way for a chaotic change in Coketown. Tom’s motto of always benefiting for himself, will force him to look back at his actions towards Louisa, and cause him to realize how his mistakes made his downfall.
Tom’s self-centered attitude
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