Hard Times By Charles Dickens Essay

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Charles Dickens’s “Hard Times’ is often both renowned for its ability to shed light on social ills and need for social reform, and scrutinized for its “constraint” “found wanting in the very fancy that it celebrates”(Johnson 128), with cardboard characters demonstrating his lack of knowledge of the working class aside from stark observations. (Spector) However, when we re-examine what the novel truly represents, by reserving judgment based solely on character development and entertainment value, but instead embrace it as a critique on Victorian Society through metaphor, with thoughts on education in the Victorian Era, and the transformation from fixed social classes to a shifting social hierarchy that are masterfully interwoven into his main premise to reveal the impact of industrial capitalism on society and the human condition. “Hard Times” is not so much about the characters, but the world they live in, and when we understand this world, we see a meaningful story that resonates even in today’s society.

Social Stratification The Victorian Era saw the progress if the industrial revolution, while much advancement was occurring with technology, there were shifts occurring socially as well. Previously there had been only two classes, the noble land owners, who possessed most of the wealth, and the peasants who manned the farms that supplied the vast wealth for the aristocratic land owners. However, upon the development of technology such as mechanized farming many farming…

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