Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Thursday 13 September 2007
by  Simon F
popularity : 35%

Who better than Charles Dickens to illustrate the astoundingly ridiculous command of facts that the "eminently practical" Mr. Gradgrind carries along with him? With a highly descriptive and very critical narrator, Hard Times is a social satire of the strange, fashionable mentality that consisted in producing only facts.

Mr. Gradgrind has five children who have been educated in a strict way, deprived of songs, stories and imagination. To protect her younger brother from the trouble he’s gotten into, Louisa, the eldest daughter, marries a rich banker, yet, everything still isn’t quite in order. The problems Mr. Gradgrind’s children face might be able to change their "eminently practical" father’s sense of moral. Maybe false accusations will be made. Maybe, everything gets sorted out...

This book brings amusement along with its mocking narration and the ridiculously complicated manner in which some characters speak. An easier Charles Dickens than others makes a difficult, yet comprehensible read. The book also uses an advanced, sometimes outdated vocabulary. None the less, the story carries intrigue but may be marred by how things turn out to be... too well at the end. This book I recommend to anybody who claims a good level of English and who appreciates stories with social complications.