Mr Thomas Gradgrind

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  • Created by: ***
  • Created on: 31-12-15 15:19

Personality

Role

  • Utilitarian philosophy and principles
  • Lover of facts and statistics - "a man of realities" (p.10)
  • Eager yet narrow minded thinker
  • Scientific advances intellectually appreciated but as a result he neglected the rest of life matters
  • His methods of teaching (both in school and at home) rather severe - he is described as "a cannon loaded to the muzzle with facts, and prepared to blow them clean out of the regions of childhood at one discharge."
  • Inherently good man - Earnest and well-meaning man
  • Cares about protecting his children from what he deems poisonous influences (e.g. circus and fairytales)
  • His willingness to take Sissy shows his concerns for others - this is supported by Slearly thinking him worth talking to (bk.1 chpt.5)
  • He believed that fantasy and imagination were unnecessary for his children to develop and become mature adults far earlier in life / without this factors present in their childhood they will yearn for rebellion in later life - just as Louisa and Tom ultimately rebel.
  • Headmaster of Coketown's School
  • Retired hardware trader
  • Father to Louisa and Tom Gradgrind
  • Friends with Bounderby

Development (Growth & change)

Other information              

  • "Girl number twenty" (p.11) - insensitivity conveyed - deaf to the sound of love in a nickname / Calls her "Sissy" (p.243) - shows developments in his ability to love.
  • His ability to doubt himself and change is what makes him different from Bounderby
  • A defeated and humbled figure of the last chapters - determination to clear Stephen's name
  • Consistent in his integrity - although grows less confident yet at the same time more wise / in this respect MrG is contrasted with other politicans
  • The name 'Gradgrind' - suggests grinding / by the last chapter he is reformed and is said to no longer grind Faith, Hope and Charity "in his dusty little mills" / perhaps "grad" is meant to represent or suggest 'grade' to reflection obsession with measuring.
  • MrG initially used to be mockery of the Victorian Educational system- no real training scheme to be followed
  • Dickens' portrayal of MrG is an indictment of the Utilitarian industrial revolution and an attempt to enlighten readers that one cannot, despite all efforts, silence or destroy human nature.

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