Hard Times


Charles Dickens

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Hard Times: Book 1, Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

A scary-looking man with a square forehead and deep-set eyes—the superintendent of the school in whose classroom he is standing—speaks and gestures in an ominous and intimidating way to the teacher and the children in the room. He tells them that the most important thing for them to learn is facts, "nothing but Facts!", for he believes that facts alone will be of use to them.
The novel opens with a detailed and repulsive physical description of Mr. Gradgrind, indicating to the reader that what this man says about facts being important above all else is not to be trusted, is likely t result in producing adults who are scary and hard-looking like him.
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