Short Summary Of Hard Times

1028 Words 4 Pages
Hard Times begins at the school of Mr. Thomas Gradgrind, a man who believes firmly that facts are the only necessity for one’s education and indeed the whole of life. With the aid of Mr. McChoakumchild, a teacher trained in this system, he endeavors to fill all children with facts. He follows the same rigorous system in raising his own children, making sure they spend their time studying facts and never using their imagination. The two oldest Gradgrind children, Louisa and Tom, are dissatisfied but do not dare openly defy their father but sometimes disobey him. Mr. Gradgrind finds them one day at the circus and decides that the presence of the daughter of a clown, Sissy Jupe, in the school is having a bad influence on them. He sets out to …show more content…
Bounderby is 30 years older than Louisa and is constantly bragging about his tragic past as an orphan and how he made his own way in the world. One of the employees at his factory, Stephen Blackpool, is introduced to the reader as a humble, honest, and hardworking man. His life is made difficult by his wife, who is a drunk and often shows up in his apartment to harass him. Stephen is very close to another poor factory employee, Rachael, who he relies on for advice and comfort. He wants to marry her, so he visits Mr. Bounderby to ask for his advice. Mr. Bounderby informs him that there is no way he can legally do this unless he had enough money to get a divorce, which he clearly does not. As he leaves Mr. Bounderby’s house, he encounters an old lady who asks him about Mr. Bounderby and seems to spend a lot of time watching him from afar. Next, a young man arrives from London on a recommendation from Mr. Gradgrind. James Harthouse has tried many professions and gotten bored with all of them, and so is currently trying out being a politician in Coketown. He immediately finds that the most interesting thing in Coketown is Louisa, who is bored with her marriage to Mr. Bounderby, and resolves to seduce …show more content…
She collapses and stays the night at her father’s house. Sissy Jupe wants to help Louisa so she tells James to leave Louisa alone. Mr. Gradgrind suggests to Mr. Bounderby that Louisa should stay with her family for a while, but Mr. Bounderby gets angry and separates himself from the Gradgrinds. He also posts a notice declaring that Stephen Blackpool is a thief. Stephen tries to return to Coketown to clear his name but he falls into an old mine shaft, finally discovered by Rachael and Sissy on a walk together. He is pulled out of the hole but dies soon after speaking with Rachael. The Gradgrinds then realize that Tom is the real thief and send him into hiding with Mr. Sleary’s circus. They then arrange to sneak him out of the country but are stopped by Bitzer, who wants to capture Tom in order to get his position in the bank. Mr. Sleary uses various animals in the circus to impede Bitzer and Tom manages to escape. Next, Mrs. Sparsit finds Mrs. Pegler, who was a suspected accomplice in the robbery, and brings her to Mr. Bounderby. It is then revealed that Mrs. Pegler is his mother and he had lied about his

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