Hard Times

Hard Times

Book - 1992
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"Facts alone are wanted in life." The children at Mr. Gradgrind's school are sternly ordered to stifle their imaginations and pay attention only to cold, hard reality. The effects of Gradgrind's teaching on his own children, Tom and Louisa, are particularly profound and leave them ill-equipped to deal with the unpredictable desires of the human heart. Luckily for them, they have a friend in Sissy Jupe, the child of a circus clown, who retains her warm-hearted, compassionate nature despite the pressures around her.

By 1854, when Hard Times was published, Charles Dickens' magisterial progress as a writer had come to incorporate a many-sided, coherent vision of English society, both as it was and as he wished it to be. Hard Times , a classic Dickensian story of redemption set in a North of England town beset by industrialism, everywhere benefits from this vision - in the trenchancy of its satire, in its sweeping indignation at social injustice, and in the persistent humanity with which its author enlivens his largest and smallest incidents.

Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1992.
ISBN: 9780679413233
Branch Call Number: FIC DICKENS
Characteristics: xl, 299 p. ; 21 cm.


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May 07, 2019

one of boz's leanest novels, it is famous for the schoolroom scene which features the dialogue: 'Now what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!' " The novel's title appears to have influenced two ex-Beatles: ' She gives me hard times/ but when she loves me, she loves me ' ( Ringo ); and, ' Hard Times are over, Hard Times are over, Hard Times are over/ Over, for awhile. . .' (Johnand Yoko)" " ' But see here,' said Beckwith, never looking away, never raising his voice, never relaxing his face, never unclenching his hand, ' see what a dull wolf you have been, after all!' "

Nov 15, 2018

I read this book to give a report in the Dickens class I am taking. Quite frankly, I picked it because it is his shortest book. However I found it very enjoyable with a bunch of ludicrous characters and, and actually some very admirable characters. As usua,l Dickens is a fan of the working class, and does not care for those who are in the manufacturing classes. He's very critical of them as being dispassionate, taking advantage of their employees, and in general and are arrogant and overbearing. His description of the city was very interesting: it was a filthy inhospitable place, the rivers ran purple with the dyes that were dumped into them, the people were as Ashen as were the streets they trod. The sun rarely appeared due to the clouds of exhaust from the factories.

Jul 05, 2016

Only Charles Dickens can create a story that is both satirical and tragic. The title matches the story; and it is a great piece of literature. I would recommend.

Feb 25, 2013

I really enjoyed the main plotline and I loved the style of writing in this book. However, this book was really hard to get through. Even though it’s relatively small, it’s not a very easy read. Many of Dickens’ descriptions were very beautiful, but also very lengthy. It took a lot of effort and concentration to get past all the fluff and to the real meat of the story. I often feel that if a book requires THAT much hard work to get through, then it’s not worth reading; this was not the case with this book. Once you get into the story, you’ll be willing to work hard to understand the story and the messages it conveys. Overall, I really liked this book.

Rinve Jul 09, 2012

This is my favorite of Charles Dickens.

Oct 01, 2011

This is the first book that I’ve read of Dickens. I did not care for the storyline, and actually found it rather boring. I have been told that this is not his best work, so maybe I'll eventually attempt another of his books, such as "A Tale Of Two Cities." (Jan 2002)


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Rinve Jul 09, 2012

"Now what I want is facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out anything else." This is my favorite quotes because it inspired me to work harder.


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