Charles Dickens Issues

1557 Words 7 Pages
The next issue that Dickens focuses on is the social problems of industrialization. Dickens is known to be one of the novelists who wrote and commented on the social matters of Victorian England in his novels. Hard Times which is no exception, captures contemporary social matters. These contemporary issues are discussed by John D. Baird. The author of "Divorce and Matrimonial Causes": An Aspect of "Hard Times". He argues that these issues are “woven deeply into the texture of the narrative; so deeply, that we may not at first be conscious of it as a theme.” One of these laws which is beneficial to the interest of the rich is the marriage law. Dickens expounds this idea through Stephen Blackpool, a working-class individual working for Mr. Bounderby, …show more content…
Although there were prerequisites such as “adultery and cruelty” (Baird 12) that make one eligible for a divorce. The fact that Stephen Blackpool is a working class individual makes it impossible for him to be separated from his wife. It obvious here that social position was a huge issue in the Victorian era because who you were determined how you would be treated in the society. As Johnson contends, Victorian law discriminates against the working individual because of their social class. One may argue that this type of social problems is an issue everywhere. But in the Victorian era, due to industrialization and the presence of utilitarianism, injustice was common among the lower class individuals. The negative manifestations of this discrimination involve emotional pain, defenselessness, and imprisonment. More importantly, Dickens uses the case of Stephen Blackpool to elicit sympathy, reveal the difficulty of the system that has made divorce unattainable, call to attention the double standards existing in Victorian society, and to demonstrate his “hatred and mistrust of the law” (Taghizadeh …show more content…
Moreover, with the advantage of working from home, it was up to the individual to decide when to work and for how many hours. For those who worked on the farms of other people, “they did not need to overwork; they did no more than they chose to do, and yet earned what they needed” (Engels 46). Critics and historians have agreed upon the fact that, the rise of the industrial revolution not only expanded the labor force but made working conditions worse with children of the working class facing the same difficulties. It also cause isolation between the workers and their masters in the sense that there was lack of communication between both parties. To elaborate further, their masters began to view them as machines and are also referred to as “Hands”. Dickens in Hard Times defines hands as “a race who would have found more favour with some people…or, like lower creatures of the sea shore” (Hard Times 102-103). These “Hands” Dickens asserts are unable to possess their own happiness. Rather, they possess other people’s “thorn” (Hard Times 103) in addition to theirs. Dickens demonstrated the living conditions of the lower class through Coketown and Mr.

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