Hard Times - Book Two: Chapters 1 – 4 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

Book Two opens with Mrs. Sparsit and Bitzer sitting on the porch discussing what a “dissipated, extravagant idler” Tom Gradgrind has become during his time working at Bounderby’s bank. Their conversation is interrupted by a young, well-dressed man – soon to be revealed as Harthouse – who has come to Coketown in search of Gradgrind. Harthouse has heard that Gradgrind is an excellent politician, and he would like to study under his tutelage (although he has heard that Gradgrind’s daughter, Louisa Bounderby, is quite intimidating). Mrs. Sparsit is pleased to have a proper gentleman around, and she embarrasses herself trying to flatter him.

Soon after, Harthouse is invited to a dinner at Bounderby’s home. Harthouse is enamored with Louisa, and Tom is enamored with Harthouse. Tom is intrigued by Harthouse’s travels and worldly experiences – things he longs for in his own life...

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This section contains 649 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Hard Times Study Guide
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