Search Results: 'hard times'
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Hard Times is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book appraises English society and is aimed at highlighting the social and economic pressures of the times.Hard Times is... More > unusual in several respects. It is by far the shortest of Dickens' novels, barely a quarter of the length of those written before and after it. Also, unlike all but one of his other novels, Hard Times has neither a preface, nor illustrations. Moreover, it is his only novel not to have scenes set in London.< Less
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Hard Times is a novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book is a state-of-the-nation novel, which aimed to highlight the social and economic pressures that some people were... More > experiencing. Unlike other such writings at the time, the novel is unusual in that it is not set in London (as was also Dickens' usual wont), but in the fictitious Victorian industrial town of Coketown, often claimed to be based on Preston.< Less
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A bitter and scathing satire on the belief in "Facts, nothing but Facts" in education, the results developed in a tale of deep and pathetic interest.
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Hard Times is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens. The book appraises English society and is aimed at highlighting the social and economic pressures of the times. Hard Times is unusual in several... More > respects. It is by far shortest of Dickens' novels, barely a quarter of length of those written before and after it. The Utilitarians were one of the targets of this novel. Utilitarianism was a prevalent school of thought during this period, its founders being Jeremy Bentham and James Mill, father to political theorist John Stuart Mill. Theoretical Utilitarian ethics hold that promotion of general social welfare is the ultimate goal for individual and society in general: "the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people." Dickens believed that in practical terms, the pursuit of a totally rationalized society could lead to great misery. Dickens was appalled by what was, in his interpretation, a selfish philosophy of materialist laissez-faire capitalism including exploitation of children..< Less
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Thomas Gradgrind, a wealthy, retired merchant in the industrial city of Coketown, England, devotes his life to a philosophy of rationalism, self-interest, and fact. He raises his oldest children,... More > Louisa and Tom, according to this philosophy and never allows them to engage in fanciful or imaginative pursuits. He founds a school and charitably takes in one of the students, the kindly and imaginative Sissy Jupe, after the disappearance of her father, a circus entertainer.< Less
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The 'terrible mistake' was the contemporary utilitarian philosophy, expounded in Hard Times as the Philosophy of Fact by the hard-headed disciplinarian Thomas Gradgrind. But the novel, Dickens's... More > shortest, is more than a polemical tract for the times; the tragic story of Louisa Gradgrind and her father is one of Dickens's triumphs. When Louisa, trapped in a loveless marriage, falls prey to an idle seducer, the crisis forces her father to reconsider his cherished system. Yet even as the development of the story reflects Dickens's growing pessimism about human nature and society, Hard Times marks his return to the theme which had made his early works so popular: the amusements of the people. Sleary's circus represents Dickens's most considered defence of the necessity of entertainment, and infuses the novel with the good humour which has ensured its appeal to generations of readers.< Less
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The story begins in 1930 in a remote town of Kansas in one of the toughest times in the History of the United States, the Great Depression which began in 1929 and continued until 1939. It is the... More > story of a little girl who is separated from her family by a catastrophic event and details her extraordinary journey while she is attempting, to be reunited with her family. It is full of twists and turns and secrets and adventure. It will make you laugh and make you cry as you follow the clues and experience the adventure and excitement of Hard Times. A love story of sorts, featuring the love of parents towards their children, and the love and compassion of others show to a very lost and confused little girl, This book is appropriate reading for ages 9 and up and gives a pretty good history lesson as well as just being entertaining! This book is a short Novel, or a Novella with almost 26,000 words. It's a good book for kids to read about other kids, and learn a little history at the same time.< Less
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One of Dickens's reasons for writing Hard Times was that sales of his weekly periodical, Household Words, were low, and it was hoped its publication in instalments would boost circulation – as... More > indeed proved to be the case. Since publication it has received a mixed response from critics. Critics such as F. R. Leavis, George Bernard Shaw, and Thomas Macaulay have mainly focusing on Dickens's treatment of trade unions and his post–Industrial Revolution pessimism regarding the divide between capitalist mill owners and undervalued workers during the Victorian era.< Less
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