Representation of Industrialisation in Dickens' 'Hard times'
Charles Dickens uses his fictitious town in Hard Times to represent the industrialization of England at that time or close to it. Most of this representation, however, isn't accurately described compared the way things really were during industrialization. It is important to remember throughout this paper that not only is Hard Times a work of fiction, it was meant to be a satire, a parody of ideas and ways of thinking at the time. In most respects, it wasn't meant to accurately describe the way things were.
Dickens covers up his parody with a realistic and extremely accurate depiction of the typical industrial town. Coketown is described to be the very picture of conformity, with all the buildings looking like one another. "It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage."
It also isn't just the factories that look this way; the bank and even Bounderby's house look just like the rest of them. "The Bank offered no violence to the wholesome monotony of the town. It was another red brick house, with black outside shutters, green inside blinds, a black street-door up two white steps, a brazen door-plate, and a brazen door-handle full stop."
There is also the recurring image of the massive amount of smoke from all the factories. "It as a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves forever and ever, and never got uncoiled." "The Fairy Palaces burst into illumination before pale morning showed the monstrous serpents of smoke trailing themselves over Coketown."