Hard Times

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Cecilia (Sissy) Jupe Character Analysis

The daughter of a circus performer, Sissy's background is of the lowest quality, but her imagination and her heart are of the highest, thanks to her father's care when she was little. This father does desert her when she is still a young girl, leaving her to be adopted by the Gradgrinds, but his education has made its mark on her, and nothing Mr. Gradgrind can try to teach her will undo it. She becomes the guardian and the savior of the Gradgrind family: when Louisa nearly succumbs to Harthouse's proposal and when Tom is nearly arrested, Sissy saves the day, saving their lives and their hearts.

Cecilia (Sissy) Jupe Quotes in Hard Times

The Hard Times quotes below are all either spoken by Cecilia (Sissy) Jupe or refer to Cecilia (Sissy) Jupe. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Hard Times published in 2001.
Book 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

‘O my dear father, my good kind father, where are you gone? You are gone to try to do me some good, I know! You are gone away for my sake, I am sure! And how miserable and helpless you will be without me, poor, poor father, until you come back!'

Related Characters: Cecilia (Sissy) Jupe (speaker)
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Dickens's talent for pathos is on full display, as is his critique of Britain's cruel Utilitarianism. Sissy, one of the main characters of the novel, has been abandoned by her father, Signore Jupe, because he couldn't find the means to support his child. Ashamed, he ran away. Now, Sissy is without a home. And yet she continues to worship her father--she can't understand the harsh truth, which is that he ran out on her. The passage is moving because we the readers know the truth about Sissy, but Sissy doesn't.

The passage also helps us see what's so inadequate about Gradgrind's way of looking at the world. Sympathy and emotion are vital parts of the human experience, but Gradgrind, and many of the other characters, ignore emotion altogether. In doing so, Dickens suggests, they're missing out on one of the essential aspects of life and humanity.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Hard Times quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Book 3, Chapter 1 Quotes

In the innocence of her brave affection, and the brimming up of her old devoted spirit, the once deserted girl shone like a beautiful light upon the darkness of the other.

Related Characters: Louisa Gradgrind, Cecilia (Sissy) Jupe
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Louisa reunites with her old friend, Sissy. Sissy knows that Louisa has been going through a great deal of hardship--previously, Louisa had abandoned Sissy for expressing her sadness with Louisa's decision to marry Bounderby. Here, though, all tension is forgotten as Sissy reaches out to Louisa, offering to teach her old friend about the Heart. Louisa has had many years to learn about the Head--but now, it's an emotional education that she desperately needs.

The passage is interesting because it uses light imagery to show the contrast between Louisa and Sissy. Although Louisa has been compared to a burning fire in the past, here it's Sissy, not Louisa, who's associated with light and virtue.

Get the entire Hard Times LitChart as a printable PDF.
Hard times.pdf.medium

Cecilia (Sissy) Jupe Character Timeline in Hard Times

The timeline below shows where the character Cecilia (Sissy) Jupe appears in Hard Times. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 2
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Industrialism and Its Evils Theme Icon
...Gradgrind calls upon, whom he calls "girl number twenty" but who is actually named Cecilia "Sissy" Jupe, is unable to define a horse for him and is humiliated by him in... (full context)
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Sissy goes on to make a number of similar innocent mistakes when called upon, but mistakes... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 4
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
...to Bounderby. The two men discuss what ought to be done, and Bounderby, discovering that Sissy Jupe (whose father is involved in the circus) goes to the same school as Louisa,... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 5
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
On their way to the Jupes' home, Gradgrind and Bounderby collide with Sissy Jupe and Bitzer; Gradgrind finds, to his chagrin, that his star pupil was mean-spiritedly chasing... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 6
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Sissy leads Mr. Gradgrind and Mr. Bounderby into the pub, called the Pegasus's Arms, where she,... (full context)
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
The circus people reveal that Sissy's father, Signore Jupe, had not been performing very well lately and that he in fact... (full context)
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Sissy returns in tears upon discovering her father's desertion, and accepts Mr. Gradgrind's offer to take... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 7
Unhappy Marriages Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
...As the two breakfast, Bounderby expresses his disapproval of Louisa associating with the likes of Sissy. Mrs. Sparsit, though she out loud agrees with Bounderby's assertions, often makes funny facial expressions... (full context)
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
Mr. Gradgrind, Louisa, and Sissy enter the room. Upon questioning, Sissy lets slip that she and her father read many... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 9
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
After a lot of time spent with Mr. Gradgrind's education of facts, Sissy hasn't made much "progress." One night she falls into conversation with Louisa, and bemoans how... (full context)
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
Their conversation turns to Sissy's parents, and Sissy reveals her mother was a dancer and her father was a clown,... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 14
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Industrialism and Its Evils Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
Louisa and Sissy have grown into young women, and Tom is now a young man, apprenticed to Bounderby.... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 15
Unhappy Marriages Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
...Taking her downstairs, Mr. Gradgrind announces the news of the betrothal to his wife and Sissy. Louisa sees the look of shock, sorrow, and pity on Sissy's face. From then on,... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 9
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
...she finds that her mother and her younger sister, Jane, rely very much on kind Sissy. She notices with resentment that Jane is a happier, more sympathetic girl than Louisa ever... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 1
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
Mr. Gradgrind leaves her to rest, and Sissy comes in. Louisa immediately is filled with anger and resentment at the presence of this... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 2
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Unhappy Marriages Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
...it must be Louisa. He is surprised and confused when it turns out to be Sissy, who tells him, respectfully but firmly, that she has come on Louisa's behalf but without... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 4
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
Louisa is at Stone Lodge with Sissy when Mr. Bounderby, Tom, and Rachael call on them. This is no courtesy call: Rachael... (full context)
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Industrialism and Its Evils Theme Icon
...that an innocent man would be falsely charged with a crime, which causes Louisa and Sissy to share a glance: each of them believes Tom is actually the robber. Stephen, however,... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 5
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Industrialism and Its Evils Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
Stephen still doesn't come. Sissy begins to visit Rachael in her home every day, trying to soothe Rachael's sadness about... (full context)
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Louisa and Sissy both suspect in their hearts that Tom was the bank robber. He has become Mr.... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 6
Femininity Theme Icon
Sissy and Rachael have gone to the country to spend some quiet time, and as they... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 7
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
Tom, however, has mysteriously disappeared. As Stephen gave his last instructions to Mr. Gradgrind, Sissy whispered something in Tom's ear, and he vanished before anyone present at Stephen's rescue could... (full context)
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
...to anyone, and emerges looking much older and having realized that Tom is the robber. Sissy then reveals that to save Tom from prison she told him to hide with Mr.... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 8
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
...use his carriage to take Tom back to Coketown. Louisa and Gradgrind are dismayed, but Sissy recognizes that Sleary, in fact, has a plan to free Tom. Sleary reveals quietly to... (full context)
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
...let people visit the circus the next time it's near Coketown. Sleary then reveals that Sissy's father's dog recently made its way back to the circus, which must mean that he... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 9
Fact vs. Fancy Theme Icon
Unhappy Marriages Theme Icon
Femininity Theme Icon
...back to town. Louisa grows gentler and humbler and finds joy in helping care for Sissy's children. Tom dies far from home, having written of his repentance to his sister, but... (full context)