Study Guide

Hard Times Book 2, Chapter 3

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Book 2, Chapter 3

The Whelp

  • Tom definitely sees Harthouse as the cool, popular guy, and so is thrilled when Harthouse wants to chill with him.
  • Harthouse gets him drunk, gives him a cigar, and then starts to ask him questions about Louisa.
  • Tom volunteers every piece of information about his sister – pretty much just to look sort of cool in front of this total stranger.
  • Tom reveals:
  1. that Tom can get away with whatever he wants to because Louisa smoothes it over with Bounderby;
  2. that Louisa dislikes Bounderby, that she married him without feelings and only so that she could be useful to Tom;
  3. that Gradgrind raised his daughter to not have any normal emotions and to just try to be as rational as possible about everything;
  4. that Mrs. Sparsit is jealous of Louisa.
  • After the conversation, Tom passes out on Harthouse's couch. Harthouse pokes him awake with his boot and then kicks him out.
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