by Charles Dickens
Louisa Gradgrind Timeline and Summary
- As a young girl, Louisa is drilled to have no imagination, to repress all her creativity, and to learn only facts.
- When Sleary's circus comes to town, she gets her brother to sneak off to peep at it.
- Later that day, Bounderby kisses her on the cheek and she rubs it raw afterwards.
- In a few years, convinced that she will be helping Tom, she marries Bounderby without love or any other positive emotions.
- Her decision to marry him breaks off her friendship with Sissy Jupe, who is the only one who can see the horror ahead.
- A year after her marriage, she meets James Harthouse, who is the first person aside from Tom to cause her to feel feelings.
- Louisa visits the house of Stephen Blackpool after meeting him at Bounderby's and sees for the first time that workers are human beings.
- Louisa realizes how much she hates her husband, and almost has an affair with Harthouse.
- Instead, at the last moment, she escapes to the house of her father, confronts him about how messed up she is, and faints.
- She decides to stay at her father's house for a while. When she does not immediately come home, Bounderby renounces their marriage.
- After Sissy takes care of her during her illness, Louisa again becomes close friends with her.
- Louisa comes to see Stephen die and realizes that her brother Tom is a thief.
- She sees Tom at Sleary's circus, where he is being hidden, and helps him escape abroad.
- She lives the rest of her life unmarried and childless, but she is close to Sissy's children.
- Finally, she receives a letter of regret and remorse from Tom, before he dies en route to seeing her again.