A Reassessment of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times as a Socialist Critique against Capitalist Ethos
Keywords:Industrialism, Laissez Faire, Utilitarianism, Unionism, Dehumanization, Humanitarianism
The purpose of the present paper is to make a reassessment and revaluation of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times to expose how capitalism and the ills of England’s Industrial Revolution inflicted its wrath on labour and bourgeoisie in the 19th century England. It also aims at manifesting how humans were forced to become machines under the aegis of capital and how the dominance of reason, intellect and wit in the 18th century minimised the effective side of humanitarianism during the clash between capital and labour. It also reflects the miserable conflict between head and heart or reason and sentiments. It also makes a severe attack on the educational theory of “facts” and “statistics.” Through the two pivotal advocates and champions of industrial capitalism in the novel--Gradgrind and Bounderby--the paper provides a socio-economic critique of the times of early phase of capitalism, Laissez Faire and Utilitarianism when the processes of production were ideologically privileged over the inhuman existence of the workers.
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