Books and Movies Reviews

Hard Times and the Victorian Era

Charles Dickens' novel, Hard Times was written during the Victorian Era, right at the height of the Victorian Era. The Victorian era represented England under the rule of Queen Victoria.The culture was saturated with class structure, seeing the aristocracy immense amounts of wealth being reduced to pennies as the number of wealthy industrialist increased.During the Victorian era, England was seeing a major shift in their culture, moving away from agriculture towards a more industrial economy.This novel created characters from all classes and eras, showing the contrast in their lifestyles and how each one suffers at the injustices that face them.
Louisa Gradgrind is the eldest child of Thomas Gradgrind. She is beautiful, practical, and completely detached from her emotions.Throughout this novel, Louisa shows a form of injustice common of most women in her class.Dickens uses her character to show that the lives of the upper middle class and economically stable are not guaranteed a fair shake in life and that underneath the wealth and the prestige of a proper upbringing do not make her immune to having a blemish in any aspect of her life.Her injustice is not linked to the types that one associates with the law but serves to be one that affects her personality and gives her the type of life deprived of many necessary social bonds and connections.This type of social injustice that Louisa experiences is a result of her upbringing and affects many of her relationships with the opposite sex and alters the course of her life negatively which serves to be an injustice in itself.
Louisa is a prime example of what can happen when ones gives too much of their self and gives it away to freely. Where her father is concerned, Louisa is the epitome of the perfect daughter.Had it not been for her emotional breakdown, she would have been the quintessential child, suppressing her emotions and being a walking cost benefit ana…


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