Charles Dicken's critique of Victorianism and the condition of England in the novel 'Hard Times

Referring to the novel ‘Hard Times’ by Charles Dickens, how does the following description of Louisa’s return to her “old home” give us a profound clue to Dickens’ critique of Victorianism and his vision of what is needed to bring about a change to The Condition of England?

The description occurs in the paragraph beginning “Neither as she approached her old home now, did any of the best influences of old home descend upon her…” and ending in “They were flowing for the fertilization of the land where grapes are gathered from thorns, and figs from thistles” (Norton Hard Times 149-150). You may, if you think it relevant, make reference to J.S. Mill’s description of the benefits to him of Wordsworth’s poetry (Norton Vol E 1120-1121).

The essay must be strictly 750 words and abide by MLA format conventions and referencing.


• thorough ideas and concepts
• thorough and insightful understanding of the text
• thorough support for thesis and main ideas
• thesis is insightful and even original and expressed with sophistication
• thorough elaboration and explanation of evidence
• argument is insightful
• message is perfectly clear
• diction, tone, and level of language are used artfully to suit the specific audience and purpose
• writer’s voice is consistently evident
• organization is highly effective (paragraph structure, topic sentences, transitions, etc.)
• artful and highly effective use of stylistic devices (parallelism, figurative language, etc.)
• use of language conventions is accurate, effective and virtually error-free (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.)
• evidence (direct quotations and paraphrasing) is incorporated in a highly effective manner
• use of MLA format conventions is accurate, effective and virtually error-free (title page, works cited page, citations, page set-up, etc.)

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