Friday, September 21, 2007

Return to Dickens

I am reading Dickens again after a summer hiatus. Dickens' novel Hard Times presents some of the themes common to Dickens. There is a young child, Sissy Jupe, whose father abandons her. And we have yet another example of mal-education with the system of Thomas Gradgrind, "facts, facts, facts". Dickens creates interest with deft touches like the scene of Gradgrind's children, Louisa and Thomas, finding their imaginations stirred (perhaps for the first time) at the sight of a Circus. This does not last for long -- not in the family of Mr. Thomas Gradgrind, who runs it just as sternly and irrationally rational as his school. Stir in some colorful supporting characters and we have the start of a rather interesting story. I will comment further as my reading progresses.

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