A Reassessment of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times as a Socialist Critique against Capitalist Ethos


  • Dr. Rajan Lal Assistant Professor of English, Department of English Studies & Research, JSH (PG) College, Amroha, U.P., India Affiliated to MJP Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, U.P., India,M.J.P. Rohilkhand University image/svg+xml https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5833-3962




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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Longman, Pearson. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Pearson Longman, 2009. Mill, John Stuart. Utilitarianism (1861). Edited by Roger Crisp, University Press, 1998.

Newman, Michael. Socialism: A Very Short Introduction. OUP, 2005.

Robinson, Mairi. and George Davison., editors. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary. 2006.

Sen, S. Hard Times. Unique Publishers, 2000.

Shaw, G. B. Introduction to Hard Times. Oneworld Classics, 1854, p.1.



DOI: 10.53032/tcl.2022.7.2.10
Published: 2022-04-30

How to Cite

Dr. Rajan Lal. (2022). A Reassessment of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times as a Socialist Critique against Capitalist Ethos. The Creative Launcher, 7(2), 75–82. https://doi.org/10.53032/tcl.2022.7.2.10



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