'hard Times' Extract Commentary Year 11 Literature Essay: Commentary

855 words - 4 pages

Hard Times by Charles Dickens – Commentary
Charles Dickens’ Hard Times is set during the industrial revolution of the mid-19th century in Coketown, England. The title refers to the era of great change that brought about hard times to the working class. The setting creates a clear contrast between the owners of properties and the people that work for them. Aside from this, the extract also explores the dualities between humans and machines as well as men and women. Dickens offers a criticism of the modern education system using the example of Mr Gradgrind’s method of teaching, one that seeks knowledge and fact above all else whilst disregarding emotion, creativity and imagination. He suggests that compassion and emotion is what makes us human.
The opening line sets up the grave and solemn mood of the passage. In line 1, Mr Gradgrind “squarely point[s] with his square forefinger” at Sissy Jupe and refers to her as “girl number twenty”, indicating he has little respect for “that girl”. Later in the excerpt he repeatedly refers to Sissy as “girl number twenty” (line 1, 26, 56) despite learning her name. This highlights the social class difference between the two characters. Because Mr Gradgrind is of the upper class, he looks down on her condescendingly and shows no respect. He tells her to “call [her]self Cecilia” because Sissy is a weak and cowardly name and he does not want her to be a weakling. In contrast, Bitzer’s name is an informal term for a mongrel dog. Their names highlight what society perceives them to be, but in reality, Sissy is courageous because of her compassion and Bitzer is a person with a single, uniform mind.
Mr Gradgrind refuses to acknowledge Sissy’s father’s role in the circus, instead referring to him as a “veterinary surgeon, a farrier and horse breaker.” He continually disregards her father’s career in order to make it sound more sophisticated and proper. It is because of his authority that he is able to “[wave] off the objectionable calling with his hand” (line 13). This particular education system is about listening to authority, it is not necessarily about the truth but rather what an authoritative figure decides to be a fact.
Mr Gradgrind requests “Some boy’s definition of a horse” (line 29) when Sissy is unable to provide her own definition. This is a notion to the patriarchal society that they live in, where it is generally believed that men were superior to women. “The boys and girls sat…divided up the centre by a narrow interval,” which is a physical representation of...

Other Essays On 'Hard Times' extract commentary - Year 11 Literature - Essay: Commentary

Complexities of Teenage Life - Holden Caufield - English - Year 11 Close Study of Text 2017 - Essay

1100 words - 5 pages The Catcher in the Rye – Critical Essay In the prescribed novel, ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ written by J. D. Salinger, elaborates on the consecutive complexities of Holden Caulfield’s teenage life. Holden’s youngest brothers’ recent death attributes to his depressive complexities. In correlation with a diminishing school life, these complexities are seen to influence Holden’s mental health. In spite of the fact that, Holden’s future is

school assignment for me to pass. im not copying - grade 11 j mondeor - literature essay

3701 words - 15 pages , they always do, But you came to me, not I to you. You knew this would happen, many times you were told, But you challenged my power, and chose to be bold. You could have said no, and just walked away, If you could live that day over, now what would you say? I'll be your master, you will be my slave, I'll even go with you, when you go to your grave. Now that you have met me, what will you do? Will you try me or not? It's all up to you. I can bring

Commentary on the poem Astronauts - IB - Essay

607 words - 3 pages A critical commentary on Astronauts Astronauts by Robert Hayden allows the reader an insight into the emotions and feelings of spectators watching a moon landing. The central theme of the poem focuses on the landscape and the description of it whilst also showing an underlying theme of danger. This can be seen through a variety of techniques and word choices by the poet. The poem aims to enable the reader to empathise with the astronauts and

Learning With ADHD Commentary Essay - GCU English 105 - Essay

933 words - 4 pages 1 Sasha Woods Eng-105 11/21/2018 Professor Palenque Imagen Learning with ADHD Picture sitting in a classroom busting from the seams with energy, not being able to control impulse movements, racing thoughts, and feeling trapped to a chair the whole day. That is what it is like for a child with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a condition with the brain that causes problems with focus, the ability to sit still and effects

Hidden dangers in ADHD medication - HIS 144 - Commentary Essay

905 words - 4 pages your mind at more of an ease. Communicating with others that are around your child daily can help solve any problems that may arise or changes that need to be made with his or her educational plan. Children who suffer from ADHD have a hard time paying attention, sitting still, focusing, are very hyperactive and much more. With all of these things that bring hardship with learning and daily activities, they with help can work through it to become

Huckleberry Finn as a commentary on race - English - Essay

1505 words - 7 pages Huckleberry Finn Essay “Human beings can be awful cruel to one another” -Huckleberry Finn In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, author Mark Twain describes a series of events that Huckleberry Finn, the protagonist, experiences as he journeys down the Mississippi. Finn’s actions are driven by two main factors, his conscience, and the runaway slave Jim. Often times throughout the book while performing an action, he would stop and ponder as to how

production possibilities curves - Year 11 - Essay

808 words - 4 pages economic growth. Our wants are unlimited but the resources in our economy are scarce. In order to satisfy all our wants, all economies face problems of scarce resources to produce the wanted products. All our decisions affect the economy and contribute to the growth of our economy. The graphs illustrate results of the decisions our economy makes and marks our economic growth. In my essay I will be explaining how production possibility frontiers

Essay on the Assassination of JFK - Year 11 - Essay

4415 words - 18 pages 20/20 Essay of JFK Assassination John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth United States President, was assassinated on 22nd November, 1963, at 12.30pm in Dallas, Texas. The President’s fatal gunshot wounds came when he was riding in a motorcade in Dealey Plaza, with one bullet striking his head. The Governor of Texas, John Connally, who was in front of Kennedy, was also hit and critically injured. Kennedy was rushed to the emergency room of

Comparative Essay - Ransom and On The Waterfront - Year 11 - Essay

943 words - 4 pages A true leader is born when they understand themselves. How does Ransom and On The Waterfront explore this? Leadership often highlights how characters get to where they are by embracing their own values. In the novel ‘Ransom’, written by David Malouf, which takes place during the Trojan War as described in the Illiad, Malouf demonstrates how the king of Troy, Priam, transgresses and becomes more aware of what he is meant to do through recognition

Essay describing women in the Medieval Times - British Literature - Essay

1034 words - 5 pages different backgrounds with different stories but similarities between the two. One character being fictional and the other being a nonfictional character that actually lived through problems society viewed women as. The Wife of Bath would have held power over men if she would’ve existed during those times in the Medieval period, the amount of number of unions was so high that it was frowned by the society of stong Christians values. Because of

An Inspector Calls - Sheila’s presentation? - Cornfield / Year 11 - Essay

840 words - 4 pages A play written in 1944 but deliberately set in 1912, ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B.Priestley utilises the character of Sheila Birling to convey the youth’s ability to change. Through the opening stage direction, Priestly describes the engagement between Sheila and Gerald, focusing on a ‘lighting (…) pink and intimate’. The fact Priestley employs the adjectives ‘pink and intimate’ alludes to the romantic relationship between Sheila and Gerald. The

Similar Papers

It Was For Sac In Literature Year 11 For The Great Gatsby Class Oral Speech

466 words - 2 pages was that wealth is infinite; that is, if you work hard (keep up with your investments), your income will always grow. The belief was also that anyone could become a part of it, even if they were born poor (like Gatsby). This was the crux of the American Dream in the 1920s and is a common theme in the novel; however, this idea of infinite growth turned out to be untrue, as the economy crashed in the 1930s and America went through the Great

Explore The Significance Of Crime Elements In This Extract Of American Psycho. Pimlico Academy, Year 13 Essay

1281 words - 6 pages his mind, it is hard to trust them even if they do sound honest by speaking about the way they feel. It is also symbolic of the fact that Ellis is trying to portray this character as untameable as nature and this builds up tension and suspense as we are now anticipating when Bateman ‘explodes’ and kills the child. Ellis uses this slow build up of tension has shaped the pathway to the murder. Thus, crime elements are significant in this extract

Belonging Essay Of Prescribed Text Tempest Advanced English Year 11 Essay

974 words - 4 pages Belonging Essay How are aspects of belonging used in your text to convey ideas about the human experience? Belonging is not a fixed state, but a changeable spectrum, ranging from themes of alienation to perfect belonging, with a vast territory of possible human experiences in between. An individual’s sense of placement within this spectrum varies between people and is created from our personality traits, personal circumstances, and the

How Does Dickens Create Sympathy For Scrooge In A Christmas Carol Year 11 Essay

1315 words - 6 pages 190703 How does Dickens create Sympathy for Scrooge in ‘A Christmas Carol’? In the novella ‘A Christmas Carol’, Dickens creates sympathy for Scrooge by showing the reader who he used to be, who he could have been, and how people really feel about him. He does this by structuring the novella to show Scrooge’s past, present and future, so Scrooge’s character can learn to be a better man by reflecting on his mistakes in life. In the extract