Stuchebrukhov, Olga. Sept. 2006 [sub ser, highbeam].
Bounderby's self-presentation is pure hyperbole. While he may have been very poor once and certainly is now very rich, his overbearing stories sound very much like the "art" and "fancy" to which he is nominally opposed. As in a classic fairy-tale, he has a wicked grandmother who mistreats him. And there is a Shakespearean allusion in Bounderby's explanation of his birth ("I was born in a ditch As wet as a sop. A foot of water in it.nobody would touch me with a pair of tongs.") Despite Bounderby's lack of a proper education, his lines are a paraphrase of very famous lines from Shakespeare's Macbeth (Act I) where witches boil a stew that includes a "finger of birth-strangled babe/Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,/Make the gruel thick and slab" Ditch-born babies generally have bad luck, but Bounderby has somehow overcome his.
, by John L. Colle. Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.
Hard Times was originally published in serial form, in a magazine called Household Words beginning on April 1, 1854. The last time that Dickens had published a work in serial form was in 1841 and when publication of Hard Times had begun, Dickens...
The major theme of the chapter can be easily inferred from Dickens' description of Cecilia in the classroom. The "horses" and carpeted "flowers" are all double symbols of her femininity and youth, but most important, Cecilia represents Art in opposition to mechanization. Dickens is not arguing against education, science or progress. He is arguing against a mode of factory-style, mind-numbing, grad-grinding production that takes the fun out of life. But even worse than the loss of "fun" or "leisure," Dickens is arguing that art requires an inquisitive and desiring mind. Especially as Dickens is known to have read and enjoyed Arabian Nights in his youth, we can see a bit of autobiography in his tender treatment of Ceciliaperhaps if he had come under a Mr. M'Choakumchild, he would have proved incapable of becoming an artist.
was Dickens's first published story.
Sissy Jupe leads the two gentleman to the decrepit place where she lives. They see here carrying a bottle and question if it is gin, but she replies that it is "the nine oils" that her father has requested as an ointment because he is sore from his performances. Sissy tries to be as polite as possible and just before entering the "public house" she warns the two gentlemen not to fear barking that they may hear as it is only the small dog, called Merrylegs.
It appeared in the in December 1833.
As they pass through Coketown, Messrs. Bounderby and Gradgrind consider the town residents to be a "bad lot" who are ungrateful, demanding, excessive in tastes and diet, languid in work ethic. The actual picture is not so simple as a town full of vice. Dickens suggests that the residents of Coketown were simply in need of good humor and some sort of diversion after the endless misery of their occupations. Bounderby and Gradgrind are looking for an address called Pod's End and as they continue along their path, they run into Girl number twenty, who is being chased by Bitzer. Bitzer accuses the girl of being a horse-rider and a liar as well. Bounderby sees this as evidence of her contagious spread.
Together they had 10 children before they separated in 1858.
The only things to be seen in Coketown were "severely workful." There were eighteen chapels in the town, representing eighteen religious persuasions but the workers were not among these congregations. The churches are little different in appearance from the jail, the infirmary and the town-hall. Every building is a testament to "fact." There is an organization in Coketown composed to deal with the irreligious nature of the laboring classes and they often petition Parliament for acts that would "make these people religious by main force." Besides this truancy, alcoholism and opium were other vices rampant in Coketown. Plenty of specimen testified that had it not been for the drink they "would have been a tip-top moral specimen."
was published in monthly parts from April 1836 to November 1837.
In this short chapter, Mr. Bounderby and Mr. Gradgrind proceed towards Coketown, a town which is a "triumph of fact." It is mostly made of red brick and it is heavily industrialized. Smoke hangs in the air, the water is polluted with "ill-smelling dye" and pistons and steam-engines cause the windows of the buildings to rattle all day long. The streets are monotonous and the people are hardly different from one another, each performing pretty much the same job in the same factory, and the work that they do is little different from one day to the next.