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‘Otherness’ and the Fact and Fancy Dichotomy in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times

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  1. Introduction
  2. Analyzing Hard Times
  3. The environment that produces Louisa
  4. The culmination of Louisa's self discovery
  5. A girl who works with Blackpool
  6. Gradgrind's awakening
  7. Conclusion
  8. Works cited

?Otherness? describes a person engaging in the reflexive act of defining their identity in reference to another person. In this way, Otherness is a definitive means of exploring the relationships between social castes and gender relationships. In Hard Times, these two types of Otherness ? social and gender relations ? not only exist, but appear in a hybridized and utterly complex way character of Charles Dickens' work.

Keywords: Tamise Van Pelt, Gradgrind, Louisa

[...] In stating Sissy has knowledge of herself, it is shown that despite Sissy's downfalls, she is unlike Louisa in the fact that she does not ignore her the emotive imperatives of her personality; she does not simply dismiss matters concerning subjectivity and emotional responses, as well as her involvement with activities that would be called fundamentally useless by Gradgrind. This is shown as Sissy meets Gradgrind, when he discovers that she is completely immersed in the fanciful; when Gradgrind asks Sissy what she has read to her father, she says that she has read ?About fairies, [ ] the Dwarf, and the Hunchback, and the Genies.? (Dickens 41) Gradgrind's strong reaction to this, calling this reading list ?destructive nonsense? (Dickens 41) shows that, though Gradgrind understands that Sissy's upbringing in the circus the circus exemplifying destructive nonsense - will cause difficulty in her education, he does not recognize the relationship that Sissy will have with Louisa. [...]

[...] However, Louisa does not realize the importance of both fancy and fact before Gradgrind convinces her to marry Bounderby. Bounderby is characterized by his total immersion in the ideology of reason, and he chooses Louisa as his wife based solely on the logic of the Victorian model of marriage; Louisa is young and beautiful, and thus would compliment Bounderby's other signifiers of wealth. Though Bounderby emphasizes his hard work as being most important, his marriage to Louisa undermines any pretense in attempting to appear humble. [...]

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