True to braggart nature, Bounderby expands the story of his miserable rise to wealth by letting everyone know that he has married the daughter of a wealthy, respectable man. His theory of education is based upon the importance of facts, figures and statistics.
Members of the Sleary Circus, in addition to Mr. With this revelation and other events came his downfall and eventual death. Desperate for money to replace what he has taken from the bank funds, Tom stages a robbery and frames Stephen Blackpool.
Stephen Blackpool, an honest, hard-working power-loom weaver in Bounderby's factory and the first victim to the labor cause, is likened unto the biblical Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
Slackbridge, symbolized as the false prophet to the laboring class, is the trade-union agitator. Fabricating a story of his childhood, he has built himself a legend of the abandoned waif who has risen from the gutter to his present position.
In the first few chapters of the novel, Mr. Dickens says that he might have been a better teacher had he known less. Even though many of these characters have names which indicate their personalities or philosophies, they are not caricatures but people endowed with both good and bad human qualities.
A leading businessman of Coketown and governor of the school, Gradgrind becomes a member of parliament during the course of the story. Sparsit and James Harthouse. Sissy serves as a foil, or contrast, to Louisa: The only emotion that fills her barren life is her love for Tom, her younger brother.
Josiah Bounderby, the wealthy middle-aged factory owner of Coketown, is a self-made man. Later, he becomes a Member of Parliament, a position that allows him to indulge his interest in tabulating data about the people of England.
Here he learns — much to his regret — that Bitzer, one of his former students, has learned his lesson well; Bitzer refuses to help young Tom escape.
Still young when she realizes that her father's system of education has failed her, she begins to discover the warmth and compassion of life.
The only emotion that fills her barren life is her love for Tom, her younger brother. When Louisa refuses to elope with him, he leaves Coketown for a foreign country. The only redeeming feature of his character is that he truly loves his sister and ultimately regrets that he has brought her heartache.
Josephine Sleary Josephine Sleary, the lovely daughter of the circus proprietor. Thomas Gradgrind represents the Utilitarian philosophy of the nineteenth century. Just as the biblical Stephen was stoned by his own people, so is Stephen Blackpool shunned and despised by his own class.
His wife, a semi-invalid, is simple-minded; although she does not understand his philosophy, she tries to do his bidding.
Major Characters Representative of the fading aristocracy are Mrs.
Gradgrind espouses a philosophy of rationalism, self-interest, and cold, hard fact. He undertakes her education but fails since she is the product of another environment. A sensitive, loving girl, she is convinced that her father has not abandoned her, that the Gradgrinds have been generous, and that people are generally trustworthy.
Sparsit and James Harthouse. Sleary and his troop of entertainers value laughter and fantasy whereas Mr. In the first book, he takes into his home a young girl whose father, a circus clown, has abandoned her.
Although he is just one of the "Hands" to Bounderby and others of the middle class, Stephen Blackpool is a very sensitive, religious man who bears no enmity toward those who have hurt him. Bounderby claims to be a self-made man and boastfully describes being abandoned by his mother as a young boy.
Bitzer can best be characterized as the symbolic embodiment of the practical Gradgrindian philosophy:Thomas Gradgrind.
BACK; NEXT ; Character Analysis. Gradgrind is a middle-class businessman and later a Member of Parliament. More importantly, he is the owner and operator of the educational system Dickens is dead set against. Adam Smith Gradgrind and Malthus Gradgrind are Thomas Gradgrind's two youngest sons.
Their names are in keeping with the economic concern of the book. Members of the Sleary Circus, in addition to Mr. Sleary, are Emma Gordon, Kidderminster, who plays the role of cupid; Mr. E. W. B. Childers, and Josephine Sleary. Thomas Gradgrind—a citizen of Coketown, proprietor of a model school, member of Parliament, father of Tom and Louisa.
Mrs. Gradgrind—Thomas Gradgrind’s ailing, complaining wife. She is a. Feb 13, · Thomas Gradgrind - from Hard Times - is one of Charles Dickens's coldest characters and is the twelth in the Telegraph pick. Thomas Gradgrind.
Thomas Gradgrind is the first character we meet in Hard Times, and one of the central figures through whom Dickens weaves a web of intricately connected plotlines and characters. Dickens introduces us to this character with a description of his most central feature: his mechanized, monotone attitude and appearance.
Thomas Gradgrind - A wealthy, retired merchant in Coketown, England; he later becomes a Member of Parliament. Mr. Gradgrind espouses a philosophy of rationalism, self-interest, and cold, hard fact. He describes himself as an “eminently practical” man, and he tries to raise his children—Louisa.Download