The Diverse Knowledge Offered in Charles Dickens’ ‘Hard Times’

In ‘Hard Times’ a cruelly strict teacher named Mr. Gradgrind believes that facts are “the one thing needful” (page 1). Little does he know that imagination is essential to learning: solving problems and inventing. Ironically he believes that he has a perfect understanding of the universe, claiming, “You can only form the minds of reasoning animals on Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.” What facts he lacks are the usefulness of dreams, and that people do not crave only what is known to be true; they wish to ask “What if?” Ironically he does not have diverse pieces of information to support his facts.

Please read the literary classic ‘Hard Times’ by Charles Dickens to meet Mr. Gradgrind’s ridiculously funny character.

“‘I’ll explain to you, then,’ said the gentleman, after another and a dismal pause, ‘why you wouldn’t paper a room with representation of horses. Do you ever see horses walking up and down the sides of rooms in reality–in fact? Do you?'” (page 7).


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