An introduction to hard times
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An Introduction to Hard Times. Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens. Born February 7 th 1812 Dickens’ father was the child of a butler in an aristocratic home, thus received a fine education and went to London to work as a clerk He married and began his family. Charles was the oldest boy

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An Introduction to Hard Times

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An introduction to hard times

An Introduction to Hard Times

Charles Dickens


Charles dickens

Charles Dickens

  • Born February 7th 1812

  • Dickens’ father was the child of a butler in an aristocratic home, thus received a fine education and went to London to work as a clerk

  • He married and began his family. Charles was the oldest boy

  • Charles had a volatile childhood, reflected in his fiction


Dickens biography cont

Dickens’ Biography, cont.

  • He was the first novelist to treat with dignity and respect the life of children

  • His father was a spendthrift, living beyond his means and eventually landed in debtor’s prison.

  • While his family was in prison Dickens worked as a child laborer and eventually lived on his own in rooms near to the prison

  • He eventually became a newspaper reporter and then of course a novelist


Jeremy bentham and utilitarianism

Jeremy Bentham and Utilitarianism

A system of philosophy propounded by Bentham in the late 18th century.


Two main components of utilitarianism

Two main components of Utilitarianism

Self-interest is the basis for all human action

The greatest good for the greatest number

  • Bentham believed that laws must be created to attack the individual’s tendency to self-interest

  • How much pleasure or pain supersedes issues of morality

  • This philosophy became the basis for an acceptance of greed and self-indulgence


Dangers of utilitarianism

Dangers of Utilitarianism

  • Over-reliance on statistics

  • Dickens saw this as a danger as statistics can be used to prove anything

  • He also pointed to the ludicrous tendency to attempt to measure human emotions

  • The philosophy infected the arts

  • Art could only reflect fact…no flowers on carpets…words used only to reflect “truth”

  • Dickens saw this as an attack on the imagination


Dickens style

Dickens’ Style


An introduction to hard times

  • Themes and Concerns In Hard Times


An introduction to hard times

  • Hard Times Discussion Questions: Chapter One


An introduction to hard times

Hard Times

Discussion Questions:

Chapter Two


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