Charles Dickens' Hard Times: A Look At Then And Now.

Essay by MccaddenSucksUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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Hard Times by Charles Dickens is a very dismal tale of Victorian England at the period of industrialization. In the novel, Dickens controversially depicts various injustices he sees happening within England during the Victorian Era and places them in Hard Times. The imaginary town in which the book takes place is called Coke town, but is actually based on the non-fictional town of Preston, England. Dickens stayed at Preston while Victorian workers went on strike. He wanted to creatively feed off their energy and struggle which he found inspiring, stating "I wanted to see what qualities they showed". (Preston: On Strike) Within Hard Time's Coke Town we witness the rise of big business, the suppression of women, a domination of Utilitarian views in education, and the class culture war through Dickens eyes.

The British during the Victorian era are viewed as "repressed and over-confident" (The Reality of Victorians) to those who take a look back, but why look back when almost the same description can be said of us today? Even in our time are these same injustices taking place, just as they were in the Victorian novel Hard Times. The suppression of women, big businesses with massive control over people, Utilitarian views in education, and class struggles are still present today. The repression of humanity and over confidence of business has our world living in a modern Hard Times.

In Hard Times we meet Mr. Bounderby. Bounderby is man who rose from rags to riches through the use of Capitalism. He has no problem bragging about his rise to power as a dominant figure in Coke Town, coming off as a huge egotistical braggart. As boss over the majority of working class Coke Town, he rules selfishly and insensitively, always reminding workers with high hopes "not...