Hard Times Essay

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Aubrey holds a Ph.D. in English and has published many articles on nineteenth-century literature. In this essay, Aubrey discusses Dickens's attack, in Hard Times, on the restrictive divorce laws in England.

In the midst of his satiric attack on the philosophy of the utilitarians, Dickens found space in Hard Times to take aim at another target: the highly restrictive divorce laws that operated in England at the time.

The institution of marriage does not emerge from Hard Times with any credit. Three marriages are presented: the Gradgrinds, the Bounderbys, and Stephen Blackpool and his unnamed wife. Not one of these marriages is a good one (and that is not even to mention the allusions to the disastrous marriage of Mrs. Sparsit many years earlier). The worst marriage by far is between Stephen and his drunken wife. They have been married nearly twenty years, but the wife, as...

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This section contains 1,563 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Hard Times Study Guide
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Hard Times from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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