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Word Count: 906
The story of Hard Times is set in the North of England in an industry city called Coketown an epitome and symbol of the English society after the Industrial Revolution about 1854 when the reactionary bourgeoisie had suppressed the Chartism and the class-contradiction had became severer and severer It is the historic background of Hard Times InHard Times Dickens shows a genuine sympathy for the workers in Coketown including Stephen Blackpool an honest and hardworking man who lives in misery due to his unfortunate marriage his kind-hearted and hardworking girlfriend Rachael and Sissy Jupe the daughter of a clown who has abandoned his station and his daughter as well It is closely related to his parentage He was born in a little house in England and grew in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity When he was only eleven years old he was taken out of school and sent to work in a blacking warehouse Therefore he appreciated the hard life of the under class in England In his presentation of it he shows that it was just and proper for the workers to ask for better conditions and that the struggle of the workers was the simple result of their aspirations to win their human rights The novel is not only explaining the social problems but also reflecting the social life in England during that time through the complicated relations and clashes between the typical characters The main plot turns on the completely failure of the perfect system of education which is carried out by two capitalists Thomas Gradgrind and his friend Josiah Bounderby both of whom are utilitarian Bounderby the banker merchant and manufacturer fabricates his life experience vaunting himself a self-made man to anesthetize the workers He says I hadnt a shoe to my foot I passed the day in a ditch and the night in a pigsty I was born in a ditch Hard Times Chapter IV Page 14 He
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