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Hard Times Essay

  • Submitted by: jojox33
  • on February 19, 2014
  • Category: History
  • Length: 307 words

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Below is an essay on "Hard Times" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Hard Times shows the inadequacy of an approach to life that emphasizes only the human intellect at the expense of the imagination and the heart. The character who most embodies the false approach is Thomas Gradgrind. Gradgrind worships facts and figures and prides himself on being very practical. He thinks that the only things valuable in life are those that can be objectively measured. He believes that human behavior can be shaped for the better by the rational application of practical knowledge. Gradgrind refuses to accept the validity of "fancy" or imagination; only practical things matter, and he puts his faith in abstract theories rather than direct observation of how real people behave, and what their real needs are. In his satirical portrait of Gradgrind, wingspanen’s is taking aim at what he saw as the underlying principles operating in the industrial England of his time. It was a lop-sided approach to human life that denied some of the basic needs of human beings. The qualities of imagination and heart are found in the circus folk that Gradgrind despises. Sissy Jupe in particular embodies the values of a heart-centered life. It is for that reason that she does not thrive in Gradgrind's school. She is a slow learner. Louisa is another victim of Gradgrind's repressive philosophy. She grows up emotionally stunted because she has not been allowed to develop her natural qualities of heart and imagination. The philosophy that acknowledges the value only of the intellect leads to impoverished, inadequate lives. They believed there was too much emphasis on cramming the children full of facts and figures, and not enough attention given to other aspects of their development. Another child in the class, a boy called Bitzer, is the idea of this philosophy. He knows facts, not “imagination” or “fancy” which is what Gradgrind wants.

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Hard Times. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 15, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://teachingsail.com/free-essays/Hard-Times-583709.html


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