Splendido romanzo sociale. Io da capra ignorante quale sono non avevo mai letto niente di Charles Dickens e ho ritenuto non essere degna di partire con uno delle sue più classiche opere. Questo romanzo sebbene sia ambientato nell'Inghilterra della rivoluzione industriale, è talmente attuale da essere illuminante. Parla del conflitto sociale, ma non vi è traccia di rivolta sociale. Parla di logiche utilitaristiche al servizio della repressione del libero pensiero e dell'autodeterminazione degli individui. La visione della realtà da parte delle due classi sociali rappresentate è il frutto dell'imposizione di un paradigma che, appunto, è quello utilitarista. Anche oggi se ci pensiamo non è tanto diverso. Per questo Dickens è un autore che non può rimanere nell'epoca in cui è vissuto ma che, come ogni grande artista, supera tali confini per essere sempre in grado di parlare ad orecchie di ogni periodo storico....Continua
draw flowers onto the carpets
cause it's life to be renewed and it's world to be redrawn
I like the portrayal of the cities, in any kind of book. It is somenthing that literally bewitches me. Dickens always seems to find the right words to describe his Coketown: the industries with their thin and twisted chimney tops and the noise of the machineries as an uninterrupted undertone. Up here pass pictures of human life.
It remembers me of Lowry's works:
Some words about the style and the story line. Even if the Dickens' romantic style is too romantic for me, the plot captured me: I found it not predictable at all, not as sensational as one could have expected it. This fact makes it real. Dickens just seems to me like an old story-teller, whether one likes it or not: as I said above, his style is not my favourite one; I like distant, detached and spare style, but I can even appreciate Dickens' novels, since they were written in the XIX century. They infect me with them quite way of telling fairy tales. Today it seems we're not able to "narrate" anymore, not with this frankness....Continua
Not having read this for many years I was struck by the freshness of the characters in the very sad environment of Coketown. The dirt and grime of this industrial town, the overwhelming depression that oozes out of the factory walls. Yet in the midst of all this depression and sadness we find such heart-warming characters as Sissy Jupe and the performers at Sleary's Circus. In total contrast to this happy band we find such characters as Gradgrind and Bounderby. Though happiness is not part of their trade they are so superbly drawn by Dickens that they cause us to smile in response to their antics and view of life. Though they are exaggerated somewhat we all, surely, have met people in our lives who have exhibited some of their characteristics.
Much shorter than Dickens' major novels it is, nevertheless, a delightful read and reveals that even in the bleakest and darkest of times there are to be found happy, kind and caring people who cheer our hearts and make life worth living!...Continua
If you look at the story itself it is far too simple for Dickens' standards. That is to say, we are not going to find the greatest plot of his novels here, rather one of the tamest. But, as it is usual with Dickens', the real gold lies with the set of characters.
Mr. Bounderby behaves up to the high standards of his jocular colleagues such as Uncle Pumblechook(Great Expectations) and Mr. Bumble(Oliver Twist), and it is, according to my own taste, the best of all the jolly company one finds in Hard Times. His recurrent boastfulness provoked much laughter in me, and I ended up favouring him among all the others.
The Born lady, commonly known as Mrs Sparsit, also deserves her part of acknowledgement here, for she's such a fine lady one can hardly miss an occasion to pay his respects to such a high-breeding character.
As a sidenote on the ending, I didn't quite like it, for as was in his other early works(Oliver Twist), bad characters get busted and good ones are rewarded(although not so much in this novel, the moralizing ending is still there). At least he gets honest and concludes with:
These things were to be.
Dear reader! It rests with you and me, whether, in our two fields
of action, similar things shall be or not. Let them be! We shall
sit with lighter bosoms on the hearth, to see the ashes of our
fires turn gray and cold.
As to say, let's have a nice happy ending so you sleep better and I get more readers.
'Do it at once,' said Bounderby, 'has always been my motto from a
child. When I thought I would run away from my egg-box and my
grandmother, I did it at once. Do you the same. Do this at once!'
'Are you walking?' asked his friend. 'I have the father's address.
Perhaps you would not mind walking to town with me?'
'Not the least in the world,' said Mr. Bounderby, 'as long as you
do it at once!'