As with his previous magazine, the author searched for a title that could be derived from a Shakespearean quotation. He found it on 28 January in Othelloact one, scene three, lines —to be displayed before the title: Conducted by Charles Dickens. The new weekly magazine had its debut issue on Saturday 30 Aprilfeaturing the first instalment of Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities.
He believes that the world has no place for fancy or imagination. His own five children are models of a factual education.
Never having been permitted to learn anything of the humanities, they are ignorant of literature and any conception of human beings as individuals. Even fairy tales and nursery rhymes had been excluded from their education.
One day, as he walks from the school to his home, Gradgrind is immensely displeased and hurt to find his two oldest children, Louisa and Tom, trying to peek through the canvas walls of a circus tent.
It eases his mind even less to discover that the two youngsters are not at all sorry for acting against the principles under which they had been reared and educated.
Later, Gradgrind and his industrialist friend, Mr.
Josiah Bounderby, discuss possible means by which the children might have been misled from the study of facts. They conclude that another pupil, Sissy Jupe, whose father is a clown in the circus, had influenced the young Gradgrinds.
When they arrive at the inn where the Jupes are staying, they find that the father has deserted his daughter. Moved by sentiment, Gradgrind decides to keep the girl in his home and to let her be educated at his school, all against the advice of Bounderby, who thinks Sissy Jupe will only be a bad influence on the Gradgrind children.
Years pass, and Louisa and young Tom have matured. Educated away from sentiment, she agrees to marry Bounderby. In fact, he advises his sister to marry Bounderby for this reason, and she, loving her brother, agrees to help him by marrying the wealthy banker.
Bounderby is very happy to be married to Louisa. After his marriage, he places his elderly housekeeper in a room at the bank. After the marriage, all seems peaceful at the bank, at the Gradgrind home, and at the Bounderby residence.
In the meantime, Gradgrind had been elected to Parliament from his district. He sends out from London an aspiring young politician, James Harthouse, who is to gather facts about the industrial city of Coketown, facts that are to be used in a survey of economic and social life in Britain.
Harthouse thinks Bounderby is a fool, but he is greatly interested in the pretty Louisa. He had heard that she had been subjected to a dehumanizing education, and feels that she will be easy prey for seduction because of her loveless marriage to the pompous Bounderby.
Before long, Harthouse gains favor in her eyes. Neither realizes, however, that Mrs. Sparsit, jealous and resenting her removal from the comfortable Bounderby house, spies on them constantly.
Everyone is amazed to learn one day that thieves had taken money from the Bounderby bank. The main suspect is Stephen Blackpool, an employee whom Bounderby had mistreated.
Blackpool, who had been seen loitering in front of the bank, had disappeared on the night of the theft. Suspicion also falls on Mrs. A search for Blackpool and Mrs. Bounderby seems content to wait; he says that the culprits will turn up sooner or later. The affair between Louisa and Harthouse reaches a climax when Louisa agrees to elope with the young man.
Her better judgment, however, causes her to return to her father instead of running away with her lover. The situation is complicated by Mrs. Sparsit, who learns of the proposed elopement and tells Bounderby. He angrily insists that Louisa return to his home. Realizing that his daughter had never loved Bounderby, Gradgrind insists that she be allowed to make her own choice.
To her chagrin, Mrs. Bounderby is furious, for his mother disproves his boasts about being a self-made man. Meanwhile, Louisa and Sissy Jupe accidentally find Blackpool, who had fallen into a mine shaft while returning to Coketown to prove his innocence in the bank theft.
After his rescue, he tells them that Tom Gradgrind is the real culprit. When the young man disappears, his sister and father find him with the help of Sissy Jupe. They place Tom, disguised, in a circus until arrangements can be made to spirit him out of the country. Sparsit, who had caused Bounderby great embarrassment by producing Mrs.
Pegler, is discharged from his patronage, much to her chagrin.
Bounderby himself dies unhappily in a fit a few years later.Dickens must be whizzing round in his grave in Westminster Abbey. He had a horror of any sort of exposure of his privacy and in , . Try Our Friends At: The Essay Store.
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