In the novel Hard Times, Charles Dickens addresses a theme of utilitarianism alongside education and industrialization. Utilitarianism is the belief that something is morally right if it helps a majority of people. It is a principle that contains nothing but facts and leaves no room for creativity or imagination.
Workers, referred to as “the hands” in “Hard Times,” were forced to work long hours for low wages in cramped, sooty, noisy, and dangerous factories. Lacking education and job skills, these workers had few opportunities to improve their appalling living and working conditions.
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that distinguishes right from wrong by focusing on outcomes. It’s a form of consequentialism. Utilitarianism holds that the most ethical choice is the one that brings the greatest benefit to the greatest number.
Utilitarianism is a doctrine explicitly attacked by Dickens in the novel Hard Times (1854). The philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1747-1832) founded the school with the principle “The greatest good for the greatest number”.
Hard times are very materialistic. Utilitarianism reflects the need to achieve happiness, but as an economic, material achievement; Materialism was society’s attitude of emphasizing material gain and neglecting a spiritual condition.
Hard Times: For These Times (commonly known as Hard Times) is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book gives an overview of English society and satirizes the social and economic conditions of that era. Hard Times is unusual in several respects.
A common objection to utilitarianism is that it may require us to violate standards of justice. For example, imagine you are a judge in a small town. Someone committed a crime and there was some social unrest resulting in injuries, violent conflict and some rioting.
Utilitarianism has important implications for how we should think about living ethically. Because utilitarianism gives equal weight to the well-being of all, it implies that we should make helping others a very important part of our lives.
An example of utilitarianism in business is the practice of tiered pricing of a product or service to different types of customers. For example, the airline industry offers First Class, Business Class, and Economy Class seats on many of its aircraft.
Hard Times is often referred to as an “industrial novel” for its harsh criticism of life in industrialized England; it exposes the ugly facet of the utilitarian ethic and laissez-faire politics that define the main ethos of industrial capitalism.
Victorian Utilitarianism Utilitarianism, in normative ethics, a tradition dating back to the late 18th and 19th century English philosophers and economists Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, according to which an action is right if it tends to bring happiness to promote, and false if it tends to produce the opposite of …
In Hard Times, Dickens sharply criticizes the poor living conditions of the working class in industrial cities. It shows life in a fictional industrial city of Coketown as a symbol of a typical industrial city in northern England at the time. It is a place of exploitation, desperation and oppression.
major conflict Louisa Gradgrind struggles to balance the fact-driven self-interest of her upbringing with the warmth of emotion she develops in both Sissy Justus and herself.
By the end of the novel, Gradgrind has reversed course. He believes in “faith, hope and charity”. The insidious Josiah Bounderby dies. Does Louisa have children of her own? “It was never meant to be,” says Dickens.
In Hard Times, Dickens placed villains, heroes, heroines, and viewers that are representative of his time. Although many of these characters have names indicative of their personality or philosophy, they are not caricatures but people endowed with both good and bad human traits.
1. Even hard times. A difficult or trying time, especially a financial emergency. For example: since mom died, christmas was a hard time for dad, or it was a hard time for both of them since they broke up. It is also expressed as a difficult time, as in I’m having trouble completing this book.
The importance of Coketown in the novel Hard Times is that it provides a fitting backdrop for Dickens’ scathing critique of industrial society. It is notable that the city is named after what it produces, coke, a hard gray fuel.
The theme of fact and fantasy in Hard Times allows Dickens to contrast the harsh realities of Victorian Britain with a more romantic, spiritually richer existence. The real world is embodied by Mr. Gradgrind and the dark satanic mills of Coketown.