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 5 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Book 1, Chapter 5

The Key-note

  • Coketown is described as a boring, hard-working, ugly, dirty place, drowning in "fact, fact, fact." Its factory owners and politicians despise its working people, based mostly on statistical analyses of their immorality, drunkenness, and other vices. It's made clear, though, that all these workers really need is to have their imaginations and emotions "brought into healthy existence instead of struggling on in convulsions."
  • On their way to the circus lodgings, Bounderby and Gradgrind run into Sissy being chased by Bitzer. Sissy tells them that Bitzer has been teasing and bullying her. Bitzer says that she is lying, just like all the other horse-riders. This only confirms Bounderby and Gradgrind's theory that she is a bad influence.
  • Bitzer is sent home, and Sissy takes Bounderby and Gradgrind to see her father.

READ THE BOOK: Book 1, Chapter 5

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...