Summary Of ' Hard Times ' By Charles Dickens

2062 Words9 Pages
Angelina Almanzar
ENGL 35701: 19th Century British Novel
Professor Elizabeth Weybright
27 June 2016

Utilitarianism in Hard Times

During the Victorian Era, many philosophers focused on utilitarian philosophy and ways of thinking, choosing the best decisions and actions for their own self-interest. In his novel, Hard Times, Charles Dickens satirizes the English educational system, society, and economics, but most importantly, through them, he criticizes the many abuses of utilitarianism. Many writers such as Bornali Nath Dowerah and Ali Taghizadeh have done research on Dicken’s work mostly focusing on utilitarianism and its negative impacts on society especially on those of the lower class.
Charles Dickens, the most renowned social commentator of his time, criticized the ills of society as he commiserates with those who were affected the most by social and economical abuses. According to the article “Charles Dickens as Social Commentator and Critic” published on the Victorian Web (, Dickens was not only very successful in exposing what was wrong with society, but also in exposing the ills of the utilitarian theory which at the time rejected the human imagination or fancy. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory which as we may know recommends ethical recommendations for everyday life, thus making hard decision making easier for us. This theory mostly focuses on moral action, holding on to the belief that people’s happiness

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