Stephen Blackpool : Nice Guys Finished First

2053 Words9 Pages
Malcolm Hamilton
English 203
10, July 2014
Stephen Blackpool: Nice Guys Finish First Charles Dickens’ “Hard Times” is a revolving plot line based on characteristics of many beliefs and values. Stephen Blackpool, a Hand in Bounderby’s factory, is a man of great honesty, compassion, and integrity. The backlash on Blackpool starts whenever he refuses to join the workers’ union because he believes that striking is not the best way to improve relations between factory owners and employees. He also wants to earn an honest living. As a result, he is cast out of the workers’ group, but then is approached by Bounderby to spy on his fellow co-workers. After refusing his proposal, he was laid off with other unfortunate circumstances to follow. Although many people see the world as black and white, Blackpool views it in a grey scale where his beliefs, morals, and values should put the “nice guy” first. While Blackpool has a simple, clear view that nice guys should finish first, Dickenson demonstrates time and time again, for most of his characters that English capitalist society works counter to those values. In “Hard Times”, Dickens uses heroes, villains, and bystanders who represent people of his time. Dickens captures the social group system of nineteenth-century England by drawing from the travelers, represented by the circus people, the struggling labor class, the up and coming middle class, and the fading upper class. Stephen Blackpool, a hard-working power-loom

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