Essay on Cruel Intentions in Hard Times by Charles Dickens

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Cruel Intentions in Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens wrote Hard Times as an attempt to show the injustices of life for many different people and to explain that in order to be happy, people need one another. Through the epiphanies of many characters in this novel, Dickens shows their realization of this fact and how they plan to pursue their goals from there on. These characters are used as mouthpieces to spread the theme to the reader. Louisa Gradgrind, Stephen Blackpool, and Tom Gradgrind are such characters. All three follow their respective lives for the first book of the novel. As the story progresses, the reader sees these characters become unhappy and distant with their previous views as life begins to turn on
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The strong verbs that he uses to give voice to Louisa prove her feelings and let the reader know, this is not a hoax, she really means this. Another example lies in Louisa’s explanation of her marriage. She states, “…no general laws shall ever rule or state for me father, until they shall be able to direct the anatomist where to strike his knife into the secrets of my soul” (162). Her view of the anatomist exemplifies her growing up as she uses a metaphor of pouring out her soul with the exactness of the human anatomy. Her childhood has leaned her towards this side of life and away from anything mythical. She has difficulty explaining her feelings now even in this epiphany because of this. As she realizes the wrong that has taken place in her life, Dickens uses the connotation of her words to wrap images around her thoughts. Louisa’s change in heart is also foreshadowed by Dickens in the novel. Dickens is a writer of order and he felt the need to drop hints of this coming of change in certain situations. The first time that Mr. Gradgrind brings up the issue, Louisa seems skeptical as she beats around the bush in answering her questions. She and her father are speaking of the same topic, yet they are speaking of different sides of it. Mr. Gradgrind is admiring his work in Louisa’s schooling, taking the fact that she knows no

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