Femininity Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Hard Times, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. There are many unhappy marriages in Hard Times and none of them are resolved happily by the end.
Note how it is juxtaposed in the text with another unhappy marriage - that of Stephen Blackpool to his drunken wife. Note how typically Mr.
Gradgrind attempts to treat marriage like a logic problem that he would use to teach his philosophy of Facts in his school. When Louisa wants to know his opinion, Bounderby responds This is a great question! When Louisa wants to know his opinion, Bounderby responds by asking her to consider it in the way that she has been taught to consider every other question, as being a matter of "Fact" alone, without allowing emotions to enter in to the equation: The ignorant and the giddy may embarrass such subject with irrelevant fancies, and other absurdities that have no existence, properly viewed - really no existence - but it is no compliment to you to say, that you know better.
Thus because of this and the fact that Louisa has not received any other offers of marriage, Gradgrind calculates that Louisa should accept.
Gradgrind makes his "calculation" without once thinking of or referring to love, thus highlighting the way that utilitarianism taken to its extreme converts human beings into machines.
As Louisa responds with her decision, "What does it matter?Analyse Louisa’s Marriage with Bounderby as an Example of Patriarchal and Utilitarian “Arrangement” in Victorian Society (Hard Times by Charles Dickens) Words Apr 23rd, 8 Pages A patriarchal society is the one in which the father is the head of the family.
This "arranged" marriage with Bounderby is not a union of love rather Louisa marries this old man to please the other men in her life, namely her father and brother.
The young man who has the most influential effect upon Louisa is her younger brother, Tom Gradgrind.
Louisa cherishes her relationship with her brother over any other man in her life. Bounderby is all like "well, marriage is forever, for better or worse." Of course, then he immediately says that actually rich people with influence can get divorces.
Stephen's only way out of his marriage is death (either his or his wife's). Once a member of the aristocratic elite, Mrs. Sparsit fell on hard times after the collapse of her marriage.
A selfish, manipulative, dishonest woman, Mrs. Sparsit cherishes secret hopes of ruining Bounderby’s marriage so that she can marry him herself.
Thomas Gradgrind. Thomas Gradgrind is the first character we meet in Hard Times, and one of the central figures through whom Dickens weaves a web of intricately connected plotlines and characters.
Dickens introduces us to this character with a description of his most central feature: his mechanized, monotone attitude and appearance. Mr Bounderby’s proposal to Louisa, in Hard Times, is not a direct proposal. Louisa’s father is used to relay the offer of marriage to his daughter.
Although it was typical in Victorian England for the man to ask his future father-in-law’s permission for the hand of his daughter, this is a step further.