Pages Front Matter Pages In the Shadow of the Status Quo. The Wizards Beneath.
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Robbins, Jennifer Jackson Whitley. Gender, Class, and Marginalization in Beatrix Potter. Indifference, Neglect, and Outright Dislike. His logic is based upon nothing but facts. Young Bitzer establishes that this same adherence to cold, statistical evidence has permeated younger generations at the behest of their teachers. When Sissy cannot provide a definition for a horse, an animal whom her family is extremely familiar with, Bitzer is commended on his definition that consists of naming the different physical properties that make up a horse.
Although Sissy, a representation of the impoverished, knows horses, has been around actual horses, she only knows them through experience. Bitzer on the other hand, a member of the more financially stable, creates his horse out of numbers. In contrast to Dickens, Forster positions the Schlegel sisters, academic and economic elites, as women who concern themselves with intellectual debate. Their pursuit is aimed at finding truth through the process of debate. The simplistic idea of right and wrong is not what concerns them; instead, the idea of factual right and wrong is associated with the impoverished.
It is in higher pursuits than just facts that the Schlegel sisters remain interested. Hence, they involve themselves and pride themselves on debate. In order to find the truth, there must be interstitial connections. Different sides of the truth reveal themselves through debate and it is only through connecting these sides that man can find truth.
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Margaret, a representative of the educated elite, concerns herself not with piling up statistical data like Bitzer and his horse, but instead, with making connections. The wealthy are a people who can afford to make these connections. Accordingly, the poor can afford to know only limited factual information. Leonard Bast is introduced as a clerk, a man of numbers and fact.
For the wealthy, it is not the facts that guide man but the decisions that are based upon them. Yet for those like Leonard, the literal is all that they can afford. They are the limits of the impoverished. While Forster emphasizes learning the whole truth over its statistical composition for his wealthy intellectuals, for Dickens, that imagination is the provence of the impoverished such as Sissy Jupe.
For E. Forster, writing at the turn of the twentieth century, poverty is no longer romantic, but a subject of pity and concern. Departing from the previous rural economy, England now entered into the modern world of technology.
In his novel Hard Times, Charles Dickens criticizes the industrialization of England and the dehumanization of spirit. Dickens portrays Coketown and its citizens as a microcosm for industrialization, with Stephen symbolizing the working class, Louisa representing the mechanized out-put of industry, and the town itself embodying a factory. Stephen Blackpool epitomizes the working class in Hard Times, both through the names and words associated with Stephen and the character himself. He is unable to divorce his alcoholic wife and therefore cannot marry Rachel.
Dickens implies throughout the novel that Stephen is perpetually stuck in his role in Coketown. Only bad things happen to Stephen even though he remains an incredibly virtuous person throughout the novel. He looks much older than his forty years and has had a hard life.
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Stephen, an almost saintly character, never speaks ill of others and appears honest and hard-working. Through Stephen, Dickens personifies the laboring society of industrialization. Dickens symbolizes the materialism of industrialization through Slackbridge. Stephen attends the meeting when asked to speak.
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Stephen has no problem with others joining the movement and he supports them, but he cannot join and simply wants to continue his job without any trouble. Slackbridge denounces Blackpool and he curbs his language only after several members of his faithful crowd demand that Stephen be given a chance to defend himself. Stephen lacks the rhetorical skills and the manipulative inclinations of Slackbridge and his deeply felt remarks are received to little avail.
Stephen is forced to leave town to seek work and is wrongly suspected of committing a bank robbery. Walking back across country to Coketown in order to clear his name, Stephen falls down a disused mine shaft. Though rescued, he dies soon later. Stephen takes a stand against Slackbridge, and thus a symbolic stand against industrialization, when he refuses the union. The end result of his outward criticism is not only his being shunned by his coworkers, but his death as well.
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Throughout Hard Times, Dickens utilizes his characters to illustrate how urbanization results in the mechanization of emotion. His idea that the Industrial Revolution in England spawned a factory-like society is evident in his portrayal of one of the main characters, Louisa Gradgrind. Louisa, raised in an environment based solely on facts, remains numbed from her emotions. Her father, Mr.
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He raises his daughter and son Tom in an environment devoid of any imagination or emotion, much like robotic productions of an urban factory. Louisa and her brother Tom try to break from this rigid mold and attempt to peek at the circus, a symbol of imagination and creativity. The two are harshly chastised by their parents, signifying the reprimand of life without facts. Fact forbid! The question I have to ask myself is, shall I marry him?
That is so father, is it not? You have told me so, father. Have you not? Here Louisa, a young woman, consents to marry a man much older and with no commonality to herself. She runs to the aide of her father and requests to speak to him about her predicament. As she tells Mr.
Where are the sentiments of my heart? Because Louisa was drawn into an emotional attachment to Harthouse, she loses control and has an emotional breakdown, a symbolic disintegration of her robotic upbringing. Dickens uses the character of Louisa to support his criticism of urbanization and the detrimental effects it has on the human spirit. His portrayal of Louisa Gradgrind depicts her as an unfortunate product of industrialization. Hard Times also employs the structure of the novel and the physicality of Coketown to symbolize the town as a microcosm of industrialization.
Here Johnson points out that even the name of the fictional town Dickens creates is based on urban factory imagery. The actual structure of Hard Times alludes to the mechanized formula of industrialization. Dickens titles the sections of his novel after rural industry to exemplify his distain for capitalist urbanization. The entire novel is regimentally broken into these three books, and each book produces more than ten chapters. This structure of the novel alludes to the restricted, rigid structure of an industrialized society.
Dickens uses imagery to portray the physical workings of Coketown as a factory. Here he illustrates the town through drab, monotonous scenery, much like that of an urban factory. The physical structure of the town and its inhabitants exemplifies the urbanized way of life that exists there. Dickens depicts Coketown as a factory to emblemize its role in the microcosm of industry. With his use of irony and imagery, the author sheds an unkind light on the industrialization of his country.