The Industrial Revolution through the Eyes of Charles Dickens

1149 Words Jan 28th, 2018 5 Pages
Charles Dickens explores the dangers of neglecting emotions and imagination in his novel Hard Times. Dickens separates Hard Times into three books: Sowing, Reaping and Garnering in order to reveal the negative consequences of industrialization and forsaking imagination for facts through the events, settings, and characters in the novel.
In Book the First: Sowing, Dickens introduces the destructiveness of the wrong kind of education on innocent minds. The schoolmaster Mr. Gradgrind refuses to face reality by insisting on addressing Sissy Jupe by her formal name and changing Mr. Jupe’s occupation to one less involved with “fancy” (Dickens 7-8). The classroom, “a plain, bare, monotonous vault” and Mr. Gradgrind’s rigid, square, and dry appearance reflect the stringent, detached teachings of his philosophy (Dickens 6). The name Gradgrind epitomizes what his beliefs have made of him: a “fact machine,” a grinder of fact. In Chapter 2 “Murdering the Innocents”, Dickens compares Gradgrind to a loaded canon “prepared to blow [the children] clean out of the regions of childhood at one discharge” (Dickens 7). The metaphor reiterates the damage Gradgrind’s philosophy can cause, including slaughtering the imagination of children. Gradgrind’s ideology sickens his wife, a “little, thin, white, pink−eyed bundle of shawls, of surpassing feebleness,…