The Role of the Circus Folk in 'Hard Times' by Charles Dickens

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The Role of the Circus Folk in 'Hard Times' by Charles Dickens The role of the circus is both complex and simple it is in itself a contradiction; it has been placed within the novel to add another dimension to the story of Coketown but also to show how fragile human nature can be. The circus folks role are complicated in their simplicity, they are of course there to carry out the role that they are paid to perform as actors or performers as well as being there for the second more complicated role of showing the notion of fancy within the novel. It is this second role which this essay will strive to discuss and discover. There are many sides to the circus it is a multi talented organisation…show more content…
The modern reader may or may not have recognised from her description of her fathers job that she was a circus child. When Gradgrind hears her name he becomes annoyed and insists that she no longer allow her father to refer to her as Sissy but instead he must call her Cecilia “call yourself Cecilia” (Charles Dickens: page 4 Hard Times 1854). The fact That Sissy’s father has a ‘pet’ name for her is important because it shows emotion within her family, she has a bond with her father that we would refer to as affection or even love, Gradgrind and Coketown do not recognise these emotions but view them as fancy, nothing serious or factual about them. The purpose of the school is to produce future citizens of Coketown that are uniform and do not question what could have been, Sissy does not fit within this mould as she feels and by feeling she has fancies which is against the principal ideas of Coketown. The reader’s introduction to the circus as an event within Coketown comes in what can be considered a surprising way. Whilst Gradgrind is walking home past the circus he notice his own children who have been raised on fact alone watching the circus Gradgrind's exclamation of “ In the name of wonder, Idleness and folly” (Charles Dickens: page 15, Hard Times, 1854) is an unusual
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