Explore the ways in which Dickens' attitudes to education are presented in the opening two chapters of Hard Times.
Dickens was born in 1812 and was a popular author with the Victorian audience and was a great observer of society. 'Hard Times was written in 1845 and was published in 'Household weekly'. Dickens experienced hardship as a child as he was sent to work in a blacking factory at the age of twelve because his family was sent to Debtor's prison. Dickens retained a deep interest in and concern for the poor, particularly the poor children as he was sent to work at a young age. Victorian England was going through a massive economic turmoil as the Industrial Revolution sent shockwaves through the established order. The differences between the rich and poor grew even greater as factory owners took advantage of their employees to increase their own profits. They then created factories and machinery to create more jobs for the poor so they could increase their profits but pay the poor a low wage for their hard work.
The educational system during the Victorian era was lacking in creativity because all they wanted children to be taught is 'cold, hard facts' leaving little space for imagination and individuality. They were arranged in order and never given a name to make them an identity. Teachers were ready to pour facts into their little minds until 'they were full to the brim'. This dehumanising metaphor depicts that teachers had low expectations of children making them be filled with facts so they could turn out like robotic workers with no imagination. The children were expected to have no fun and no childhood as they were already prepared for adulthood and the harsh reality of life.
The speaker is described as ‘square’ which characterises him as a man...