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About Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Hard Times one of the most famous Charles Dickens’ novel. You’ll read this novel with the quality of "Yalcin Hoca" ...

Superintendent Mr. Gradgrind opens the novel at his school in Coketown stating, "Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts", and interrogates one of his pupils, Cecilia (nicknamed Sissy), whose father works at a circus. Because her father works with horses, Gradgrind demands the definition of a horse. When she is scolded for her inability to factually define a horse, her classmate Bitzer gives a zoological profile, and Sissy is censured for suggesting that she would carpet a floor with pictures of flowers or horses.

Louisa and Thomas, two of Mr. Gradgrind's children, go after school to see the touring circus run by Mr. Sleary, only to meet their father, who orders them home. Mr. Gradgrind has three younger children: Adam Smith (after the famous theorist of laissez-faire policy), Malthus (after Rev. Thomas Malthus, who wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population, warning of the dangers of future overpopulation), and Jane.

Gradgrind apprehends Louisa and Tom, his two eldest children, caught peeping at the circus. Josiah Bounderby, "a man perfectly devoid of sentiment", is revealed as Gradgrind's close friend. Bounderby is a manufacturer and mill owner who is affluent as a result of his enterprise and capital. He often gives dramatic and falsified accounts of his childhood, which terrifies Mr. Bounderby's housekeeper, Mrs. Sparsit.

As they consider her a bad influence on the other children, Gradgrind and Bounderby prepare to dismiss Sissy from the school; but the three soon discover her father has abandoned her thereto, in hope that she will lead a better life without him. At this point members of the circus appear, led by their manager, Mr. Sleary. Mr. Gradgrind gives Sissy a choice: to return to the circus and forfeit her education, or to continue her education and work for Mrs. Gradgrind, never returning to the circus. Sissy accepts the latter, hoping to be reunited with her father. At the Gradgrind house, Tom and Louisa are discontented by their education, and so does Sissy. (wikipedia)

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