From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Hard Times

Hard Times


by Charles Dickens

Hard Times Book 1, Chapter 1 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Book 1, Chapter 1

The One Thing Needful

  • In a long speech, Thomas Gradgrind tells the teacher Mr. M'Choakumchild (nice name, right?) to teach only facts and nothing but facts to his students.
  • Gradgrind is described as a man who is totally square – not in a "hip to be square" way, but actually square-shaped.

READ THE BOOK: Book 1, Chapter 1

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...