“Found” 228). The main unhappy marriage showcased by the novel is between Louisa Gradgrind and Mr. Bounderby. The divorce laws are the privilege of wealthy and powerful people and are not accessible to the rest of society. Sissy and Louisa I think this is extremely funny how, at a time of need, Gradgrind’s educational theory has backfired in his face. If one element of the book stands out in my mind, it would be this one. It over-emphasizes calculations and rejects what is referred to in the novel as “imagination,” “fancy,” and “wonder.” The book presents a noticeably amusing caricatural portrait of education; the name of the school itself, M’Choakumchild, has a lot to say; its oral representation means choke him the child: a stifling school that strangles its students and suffocates them with an ideology that makes their life tasteless and devoid of amusement, joy or childish innocent happiness. Dickens provides three vivid examples of this utilitarian logic in Hard Times. Copyright © 2000-2020. p. 225-232. The circus people are simple, open-minded human beings whose goal in life is to make people laugh. This has led England to become a concrete jungle where people find it difficult to live because of the blatantly harsh life conditions and tense competitiveness. When Sissy is told by a teacher about a city where only 25 of one million inhabitants were starving, she comments, “it must be just as hard upon those who were starved.” She is asked by the teacher if a nation with “fifty millions of money” is a prosperous nation. Dickens portrayed the scene as one in which Blackpool was on a level five steps below Bounderby and his associates because he was a lowly worker who was obviously much less educated than them. ( Log Out / Dickens aims his criticism both to school and to home-education. on, Utalitarian Principle in Charles Dickens Hard Times. A handicapped worker was doomed to extreme poverty, as there were no social security or insurance payments. The novel caricatures rich people while it shows more sympathy towards the “Hands”. She has faith in a better tomorrow that is based on love, not material improvement. As a result, he is cast out of the workers’ group. How much different would their lives be if the town was not run by utilitarians. Their aspirations were modest: to be respected by their fellows ;to see their families growing up and making their way in the world, and to die without debt and without sin. “Her [Cecilia Jupe] gentle hand adjusted Rachael’s shawl upon her shining black hair in the usual manner of her wearing it, and they went out” (Book III. All rights reserved. Industrialization and Utilitarianism 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. The majority answers are always right. Hard Times Themes. As Rachael explains, Stephen ends up with the “masters against him on one hand, the men against him on the other, he only wantin’ to work hard in peace, and do what he felt right. Let us do your homework! Safety measures were often ignored and workers were put out of jobs by the introduction of machines that created a surplus of labour. Dickens’ most famous character, Oliver Twist, is born and lives in meager conditions in a workhouse during his childhood. One of the Hands in Bounderby’s factory, Stephen lives a life of drudgery and poverty. philosophy of ‘Utilitarianism’. He exposes the exploitation of the working class by unfeeling industrialists and the damaging consequences of propagating factual knowledge (statistics) at the expense of feeling and imagination. He blindly produces actions based on the previous education of M’Choakumchild and Gradgrind. The first book I will examine in this essay, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, comes from this literary, characters and contributes to the theme of the novel. The benevolent totalitarian state rules over its genetically engineered population by providing pleasure and conditioning the masses. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our, read analysis of Industrialism and Its Evils. In Dickens’s industrial novel Hard Times, the writer highlights the struggles and hardships in an unpredictable and uncertain Victorian world, socially and economically. One has to wonder how different the story would be if Gradgrind did not run the school. A Theme Of Utilitarianism In Hard Times By Charles Dickens. Dickens paints a vivid picture of this inequality between social classes and shows he does not care much for it. The people that did not fall victim to the utilitarian trap were able to live their lives happily and freely, able to love, laugh, and use their imagination; which is the way life ought to be lived. The circus people could be called the total opposite of utilitarianism. How can you give a utilitarian man such as Gradgrind such power over a town? At the other end of the perspective, a group of circus members, who are the total opposite of utilitarians, are added by Dickens to provide a sharp contrast from the ideas of Mr. Bounderby and Mr. Gradgrind. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. In 1852 – The publication of Bleak House begins. Money and Power are the languages of the minority of wealthy people; they use money to reach power, and abuse power to make more money, and all this is done for the sake of their well-being, and everything is fair play if money is the ultimate purpose.  Rosen, Frederick (2003) Classical Utilitarianism from Hume to Mill. As a social critic, he claims in his letters to “strike the heaviest blow in [his] power” to side with those who struggle against a miserable situation stemming from a Capitalist system which strongly permeates every corner of existence. Moreover, since Utilitarianism assumes that what is good for majority is good for everyone, individual preferences are ignored. In the novel Thomas Gradgrind is a man bereft of any imagination or fancy, and perhaps that is why he is a staunch believer in the practicality of the education system. The people who knew the factual information, (utilitarians) were successful, while those who did not were reduced to working in the factories of the utilitarians. And yet at present, 158 years after its first publication, Charles Dickens’ tale of industrialization and its implications still holds a prominent place in today’s society. Dickens was already criticizing the conditions in workhouses in his journalism and fiction. The novel has been criticised for not offering specific remedies for the Condition-of-England problems it addresses. The utilitarians ultimately ended with a great downfall because their narrow-minds could not endure the pressures that life can impose on oneself. Josiah Bounderby is another prime example of utilitarianism. Characterization is different with poor people like Cecilia Jupe or Rachael. Sissy is a magnetic storyteller, someone who can light the spark in the minds of others that illuminates a new vision of the world. Tom, now out from under his fathers wing, he begins to drink and gamble heavily. Soot and ash is all over the town; it is a dirty and suffocating place. He is one of the wealthiest people in Coketown; owning a bank and a factory, but is not really a likable person. The working and living conditions were often atrocious. Moreover, problems arose and Mill was forced to retire. . Dickens describes him as a crippled person who becomes aware of his own misconceptions. Dickens disparages Utilitarianism in that the pursuit of happiness is possible only to those who are wealthy enough to further their trail; poor people are not only crushed by the miserable and vicious circumstances of their life but also by their inability to get rid of poverty. Dickens portrays them as a step up from the “Hands” but still close to the bottom in the social structure. One actually sees the main character of the book and firm supporter of utilitarianism, Mr. Thomas Gradgrind, experience the faults of his practice and begin to stray from it. Utilitarianism, as rightly claimed by Dickens, robbed the people of their individuality and joy; deprived the children of their special period of their lives, 'Childhood' and deprived women of their inherent right of equality. At the other end of the perspective, a group of circus members, who are the total opposite of utilitarians, are added by Dickens to provide a sharp contrast from the ideas of Mr. Bounderby and Mr. Gradgrind. Dickens depicts this situation as a result of the industrialization of England; now that towns like Coketown are focused on producing more and more, more dirty…, There are many unhappy marriages in Hard Times and none of them are resolved happily by the end. Dickens portrayed the scene as one in which Blackpool was on a level five steps below Bounderby and his associates because he was a lowly worker who was obviously much less educated than them. Gradgrind’s profile reflects his rigidity, as he is described to have a “Square forefinger [… and living in] a square house […] square steeple” (Book I. Louisa, unlike Tom, does get along with her father. It is fairly easy to see that Dickens holds a contempt for Bounderby and the utilitarian philosophy he carries. The educators see children as easy targets just waiting to be filled with information. Routledge, p. 132,  Spicker, Paul, British social policy 1601–1948, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen: Centre for Public Policy and Management, retrieved 2008-12-13. Teachers and parents! Print. It substantiated the idea of "highest level of happiness for the highest numbers of people". This reasoning was absolutely correct from the scientific and the Utilitarian point of view, but it rejected any emotional considerations. The main story centers on Thomas Gradgrind and his family. Indeed, the Victorian society is fragmented and Coketown presents two poles: rich bankers, wealthy businessmen, politicians against the destitute, those simple workers who are commonly referred to as the “Hands”. In that foggy town, there is “a river that ran purple […] a black canal […] and serpents of smoke” (Book I. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1962. His utilitarian philosophy is similar to Gradgrinds in the sense that factuality is the single most important virtue that one could posses. With lives dominated by facts and void of art, the children are frustrated and discontented. Working days were long, and wages low, as employers often exploited their workers and increased their profits by lowering the cost of production by paying meagre wages and neglecting pollution control. custom paper from our expert writers, Utalitarian Principle in Charles Dickens Hard Times. Dickens’s Hard Times is a satire that exposes the flaws of the Victorian society and its compliance with Utilitarianism.
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