Does Charles Dickens write from a Realist or a Romantic perspective in his novel "Hard Times?"

Essay by CrazyBeastieHigh School, 10th gradeA, August 2003

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Hard times Essay

The Novel Hard Times by Charles Dickens was, by far, the most enjoyable piece of historical reading that I have done in high school. There were so many themes and ironies under the words that you had to search for, making it an incredibly enjoyable read.

Although it may seem impossible, this novel is both romantic and realist. First of all, the novel is automatically romantic, because it is a novel, which was a product of the romantics in the first place. Through this novel, we see the romanticism of the ugliness of a manmade world devoid of God's works. The few romanticized characters in the novel are made obvious, because they are striving toward something, and even if their goal is unknown, the characters each have something else to live for. Also, there is a realist side to the novel- realist not necessarily as in the opinion of the author, but as in a point the author is trying to get across.

Dickens shows us an imaginary world without ideals, no appeal to the imagination, and strict adherence to fact alone. In other words, if you can't touch it or prove it, it doesn't exist. In the novel, we find a grim view of the world with many characters having realist outlooks: devoid of lightheartedness, with every man for himself. It seems that, although Dickens is writing from a romantic prospective, he is trying to get across the point of the fallacy of realism. However, to the open-minded reader, the Truth found in romanticism comes out on top.

Probably the two furthest poles of character in the novel are those of Josiah Bounderby and Stephen Blackpool. Although the two characters' lives are very different, they seem strangely perpendicular. Josiah Bounderby thinks he is solely correct in...