“Now, what I want is, Facts. . . .
Facts alone are wanted in life.”
Thus begins Superintendent Mr. Gradgrind—a wealthy, retired merchant—addressing a group of young students at his school in the industrial town of Coketown, England. A rigid man of fact, rational self-interest and realities, he not only teaches his pupils according to the utilitarian principles, but also raises his children with the same philosophy.
When they grow up, as their lives begin to turn chaotic, they reproach their father for their upbringing. Will Mr. Gradgrind realize his flaws and become a humble man?
Satirizing the laissez-faire system, Dickens’ Hard Times lays bare the wide gap between the rich and the poor. Criticizing the materialistic world, this Victorian novel throws light on the value of emotions and the human heart. It has undergone several film and theatre adaptations.