Hard Times - by Charles Dickens[Reading report] by Alexis Gauvin


The author was part of the "Alternative Management" third year program in HEC Paris in 2007/2008.

In Hard Times Charles Dickens profoundly critizes the capitalist and industrial society he lived in at a time when steam power and coal were at the mouth of each manufacturer. Amorality, hardness of feelings and inhumanity are successively attacked in this critic through several portraits of archetypes: capitalists, mean employees, libertines and politicians. Facing them, workers and gipsy at the lowest level of human social hierarchy recall there is no systematic connection between humanity and wealth. Even living in poor conditions, these archetypes counter-balance the first portraits by being in solidarity and virtuous and make the reader remind how a human being should behave.

The reader should not only see this ironic description of the industrial society. He should keep in mind he has a duty of denouncing the social consequences of the Industrial revolution and the amorality of his fellow-citizens to promote a social solidarity where humanity and morality have a place.

Quote article  Alexis Gauvin, « Hard Times - by Charles Dickens », 14 may 2008, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Reading report]

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