Industrialization in "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens

1626 Words May 15th, 2007 7 Pages
The industrial revolution was an era of mechanization. During this era, in 1854, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) wrote Hard Times to comment upon the change within society and its effect on its people. Dickens points out the flaws and limitations of this new society in his eloquent and passionate plea on behalf of the working poor (Charles Dickens Hard Times, 2000). The novel shows presents to readers the authors perspective of life during the nineteenth century and makes comments on the central theme of fact versus fancy. Due to this theme, the novel ends with many characters realising that a person needs more than just fact in their life. The novel examines the utilitarian system through various characters such as Tom, who has been brought …show more content…
This shows that, even though Tom has been provided with what was believed to be the finest education, ad has learnt every Ology, he is still extremely selfish and uses people to his own will and benefit. Tom has turned out to be a very corrupt man and, being a product of the utilitarian system, Dickens uses Tom to declare that this system does not work.

Dickens portrays the idea that the utilitarian system has drained all the goodness of human nature through the symbolic description of Sissy and Bitzer within Hard Times. For example, when Sissy and Bitzer are introduced to the reader, it is evident through the symbolism used that Dickens favours Sissy, of the lower class.

The girl was so dark eyed and dark haired, that she seemed to receive a deeper and more lustrous colour from the sun when it shone upon her, the boy was so light eyed and light haired that the self-same rays appeared to draw out of him what little colour he ever possessed (p50).

This passage is significant because it reveals Dickens opinion of the utilitarian system. It is no coincident that Bitzer, the boy who was educated under the system of fact has been described as colourless while Sissy, the poor and uneducated girl, has been described as lustrous. The colour symbolises the fancy while the paleness represents the fact and through the above passage Dickens states that Bitzer is being filled with so much fact that it is draining all the

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