Charles Dickens’ Hard TimesThe book “Hard Times” was written in 1854. It was written in weeklyinstalments in a magazine called Household Words. This is like anormal soap but was weekly. The magazine was owned by Charles Dickensas he was a journalist. The book was written at the time of theIndustrial Revolution. This was when factories were being built nearmajor towns and cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.The Industrial Revolution was a time when there were big improvementsin transport as there was vast expansion in the production of iron.The factories were in the towns so people from the countryside came tothe towns for work and a house. They moved because their own millsweren’t making enough items of clothing etc whereas the factoriescould mass produce. However, there weren’t enough houses so many werehastily built. This meant they had no fresh water, no sewers and notoilets. This led to a poor quality of living where people got waterfrom communal water pipes and put their waste in a big “pile” whichwas cleaned by a “waste disposal man”. The poor quality of living wasadded to by the huge smoke clouds which hung over the cities. This”smog” made it hard to breathe and was so bad seeing things becameharder.
The book starts when Dickens introduces the characters; the first twochapters are short yet are scene-setters. Dickens explains that;
Mr Gradgrind – a politician and schools owner,
Mr McChoakumchild – a new teacher and
Another man – we are not told who the man is or why he is present, arein a classroom full of children. Dickens describes Mr Gradgrind asbeing a square man and Mr McChoakumchild as a school teacher who wasfresh for the factory which “mak…
…r those concerned. This is alike real lifewhere people we meet can be different, alien like or how might we saynormal.
In “Hard Times” Dickens’ does write realistically in a sense. However,in the first two chapters he writes in a more exaggerated way toarouse interest in the book. As this was written in weekly instalmentshe would have wanted to excite his readers with interesting firstchapters so that they continue to buy the magazine. I think that afterthe first couple of chapter when Dickens’ has an interested audiencehe starts to write in a more realistic fashion. In conclusion, lifedidn’t turn out the way that was expected by many characters in “HardTimes.” Those who strived to have perfect children didn’t. And thosewho were looked down on proved to be essential characters in findingthat there was more to life than what they were taught.