When asked about the themes Hard Times, Dickens explained, "My satire is against those who see figures and averages, and nothing else." It is the story of Thomas Gradgrind, who seems to match description of the people Dickens critiqued. He runs his household and raises his children with a stiff pragmatism. Gradgrind instills no inspiration or moral compass in his children, and they lead lives of despair in the grim environment of Coketown, a worthless society in the shadow of a manufacturing giant. His daughter, Louisa, pursues a callous marriage with Josiah Bouderby, a discourteous banker. His son, Tom, becomes a thief and frames a blameless man for his crime. Only after he sees what has become of his children does Gradgrind realize what his cold practicality has done. Considered by many to be Dickens' harshest critique of Victorian society, Hard Times effortlessly paints a fascinating picture of Victorian life in all its glory and darkness. But its barebones are a story filled with a rich detailed plot and unmatched characterization that has come to represent one of the greatest novelist in literature.
This edition includes:
• A biography of Charles Dickens to introduce the text.