Mrs. Sparsit, who has not quite gotten over having to leave Mr. Bounderby's house to make way for Louisa, maliciously watches the affair between Louisa and Mr. Harthouse progress with glee. As the two slowly draw closer together, she imagines that Louisa is slowly descending a great winding staircase. Down, down, down she goes…and when Louisa finally elopes or disgraces herself publicly in some other way with Mr. Harthouse, Mrs. Sparsit imagines her stepping off the bottom of the staircase and falling into a dark abyss. Louisa, of course, never quite falls off this staircase as she refuses to elope with Mr. Harthouse.
The Staircase Symbol Timeline in Hard Times
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Staircase appears in Hard Times. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, Chapter 10