Study Guide

Hard Times Book 3, Chapter 9

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Book 3, Chapter 9


  • Bounderby decides to fire Mrs. Sparsit because he is still angry that she "outed" his mother, Mrs. Pegler. Now his whole "I'm a self-made orphan" story is ruined.
  • That evening, they have a little squabble, and he tells her to go live with her own relatives. She tells him that she's been cursing at his portrait for almost as long as she's been working for him.
  • Then the narrator steps in to tell us what will happen to each of the characters after the novel ends.
  • Mrs. Sparsit will be forever tormented by and tormenting Lady Scadgers, with whom she goes to live.
  • Bounderby will promote Bitzer and then die in the street five years later. His will and testament will be disputed in court for a long time.
  • Gradgrind leaves behind his philosophy, is scorned by other members of Parliament, but becomes a happier man before he dies in old age.
  • Rachael spends the rest of her life taking care of Stephen Blackpool's alcoholic widow.
  • Tom finally realizes the error of his way and writes sad, apologetic letters to his sister from abroad. Finally, he tries to come and see her, but dies on the journey.
  • Louisa never remarries and never has children, but remains sisterly friends with Sissy.
  • Sissy does have happy loving children, who grow up into good, moral adults.

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