Dickens’ chronicled the industrial revolution’s transformation of England from a small village agrarian culture into an urban culture and the effects of this transformation on the people of the time

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In Hard Times, Dickens’ chronicled the industrial revolution’s transformation of England from a small village agrarian culture into an urban culture and the effects of this transformation on the people of the time. We see peasants, serfs, and others of the lower classes flocking to growing industrial centers in hopes of being emancipated from their position in life.

To those yearning for higher station, the industrial revolution offered the opportunity to escape the captivity of feudal system. Many saw escaping to the city as tantamount to being reborn into a society that provided equal opportunity unrelated to birthright. Dickens, through his characters, illustrates the fallacy of this notion and the reality that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

“Oh my friends and fellow-men!,” said Slackbridge then shaking his head with violent scorn, “I do not wonder that you, the prostate sons of labor, are incredulous of the existence of such a man. But he who sold his birthright for a mess of pottage existed, and Judas Iscariot existed, and Castlereagh existed, and this man exists!” (108).

In this quote Dickens lays out the reality that there has always been a class system. Men of lower class have always strived to break through to positions of privilege, and those in privileged positions have always tried to keep them down.


In Charles Dickens’s book “Hard Times”. There were considerable amounts of negative impact, which the Industrialization era made upon families and their children. The people where subjected to severe working conditions and therefore died at early ages. In the book by Dickens, Urbanization brought about many problems.

In the book “Hard Times”; Charles Dickens was expressing his philosophy and the ways he and his teachers thought that young impressionable minds of the younger generations should be taught. Dickens said, “You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Fact”. By moving to the city people found wretched conditions. But to make money they had to work many long hours and live in the slums, just to eek out a meager living. Most of the reason why urbanization changed the countryside was because of farmers abandoning their land and their way of life. The different social classes became even more obvious during this era.

Industrialization brought air and water pollution, as well as over crowding, and poor health care that shortened the life spans for many of the people and most of all the young. The reason the youth where more at risk than the adults was because there were more youth and the fact that factory owners and parents exploited the youth because of the parents lack of money. The youth were also exploited because they were cheap, easy and plentiful, and many times adults could not get jobs but children could.

In closing, of the Industrialization and Urbanization era of the English society of the 19th century, Charles Dickens came to the conclusion that life is based on facts! To better under stand that, yes, people went through difficult times while living in the slums and a lot of people lost there lives, they were able to bring us to were we are today.


Pollution, monotony, social categories, and depressions were affects of the Industrial Revolution on the English society in the nineteenth century. Some say that the Industrial Revolution was a necessity in the evolution of modern society. With the Industrial Revolution great things did emerge such as machines, chemicals and electronics that made it possible for everyone to purchase materials which would otherwise have been impossible for the common man. But with it came a great price that all paid in some way.

“You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.” This was a quote from the local schoolmaster of the nineteenth century. Education was to prepare children to become machines. It did not allow any room for imagination or emotions. The Industrial Revolution was a time where only facts were important not fantasy. You did not “fancy” anything for that would have no purpose in the world. “You are to be in all things regulated and governed…by fact…” These are the words they lived by.

“The fairy palaces burst into illumination before pale morning showed the monstrous serpents of smoke trailing themselves over Coketown.” This paints a picture of the Industrial Revolution’s typical town. “The clattering of clogs upon the pavement, a rapid ringing of bells, and all the melancholy mad elephants polished and oiled up for the day’s monotony, were at their heavy exercise again.” Again seen, the pollution of the smoke, the boredom of the town in the mundane work to be carried out for the day. There was a sense of depression in these words. “Domestic fires were not yet lighted, and the high chimneys had the sky to themselves. Puffing out their poisonous volumes, they would not be long in hiding it…” “So strange to turn from chimneys to the birds.” This showed the unnatural way of life the Industrial Revolution had brought. Now people were used to seeing the dirty town and excepting it for a way of life. No longer was nature a part of everyday life but rather the sound of a machine rather than the signing of a bird.

There were many changes in society at the time of the Industrial Revolution. This was a time for engineering and science to excel and produce to make life more livable, but it did the opposite. People were now turned into machines that no longer could communicate with each other. They died from pollution and depression. There was no happiness in their world for there were no emotion just facts.

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