One defense of the new economic conditions created by the Industrial Revolution was its expansion of individual opportunity. The wealthy could justify the condition of the poor by pointing out that if the poor worked industriously, they could work their way into a fortune. Dickens implicitly mocks that idea by presenting one such supposed self-made man as a blundering braggart. By exposing Bounderby as a fraud who did not actually start from nothing, as he so often claims, Dickens questions the validity of that entire justification for poverty. If the self-made man is a lie, then what can the poor hope to achieve? Moreover, Dickens raises the question of whether the self-made man owes anything to the rest of society. Are the wealthy under any obligation to help the poor? Or must the poor help themselves?
"Hard Times," by Charles Dickens evaluates and highlights the issues of the times- social and political. The story is set in an imaginary town in England called Coketown, which is home to mills and factories. The story mentions of both mill owners and the labourers and their lives. The working classes are referred to as “hands” and they have a “hard time”. The novel is divided into three books namely- sowing, reaping and garnering and in the story one would identify that each of his characters sows, reaps and garners what they have planted.
The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in human history. It began in England and consequently spread throughout the European continent and beyond. Almost every aspect of human life was affected by this significant event. The steam engine, mechanized cotton gin, usage of coke etc ushered in an age of increased output. The other factors which influenced the growth of Industrial Revolution in England are: the enlightenment, agricultural revolution, the development of financial institutions such as central banks, stock markets and coal and iron deposits which were plentiful in Great Britain and proved essential to the development of all new machines made of iron or steel and powered by coal- such as the steam-powered machinery in textile factories. The expanding markets of the British Empire also meant the need for more production of goods and that meant laborious and taxing work hours for the “hands”. Dickens also highlights what the changing times meant for each of his characters.
To begin with, we have Mr. Gradgrind and Mr Bounderby, who are practical man focused so much and only on “facts”. They do not believe in playing victim to human sentiment, entertaining wild imaginings or engage in recreations. On one occasion, Sissy Jupe is reprimanded for opining that painting of horses could be used as wallpaper. She is asked if it is possible for an actual horse to actuall...