Charles Dickens's moral tale of utilitarian values run amok The industrial burg of Coketown is dominated by the philosophy of utilitarianism. The mill is the center of commerce. Students in the school are instructed to recite rote facts and figures while repressing any creative instincts. Thomas Gradgrind, the school superintendent, is a strict devotee of practicality and has raised his children, Tom and Louisa, according to this philosophy. It is only Sissy Jupe, a circus girl taken in by the Gradgrinds, who possesses the vision and wonderment to see past the rigid boundaries of cold, hard facts. A paean to the human spirit, Hard Times is among Dickens's most cutting works of social commentary. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.