One of Dickens' most controversial novels, Hard Times tells the story of Thomas Gradgrind, headmaster to the child mill hands of Coketown, a downtrodden industrial centre. He attempts to stamp out whimsy and fancy in his young charges, insisting they face their reality - a life of hard, dangerous work and a complete lack of social mobility. Throughout the novel, however, Gradgrind encounters situations that slowly erode his certainty about the morality of his position. Like much of Dickens' work, Hard Times draws attention to the social and economic ills of England during Dickens' life time.
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by Charles Dickens
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