Sunday, November 18


The not-quite-qualifying-for-winter, wearing jumpers, layers, scarves, shopping for gloves, losing gloves on the bus which you nicked off a train; now with the rain which seems a continuous stream, a collusion, frontal rainfall apparently; leaves of raw sienna nudging windsor violet, permanent mauve, indian yellow, on top of stagnancy – no cobalt, no blue, no reflected skies with cloud – and pushing, pushing, plucking your stare, the cadmium, always cadmium, the colour they try to put in kitchens which is only best on trees full of leaves; walking faster than cars which sit, steamed up in traffic jams, beeping softer than the city, walking and rain again so shoes are damp, wet, sodden, and on the radiator, topsy-turvy, drying off, peeling the folds of jeans, as the scarf unravels, falling to the footprinted carpet.

Portrayl of Femininity in Hard Times

Taken to mean 'womanliness', or 'the quality of being feminine', Spark Notes' notion that 'Dickens suggests that feminine compassion is necessary to restore social harmony' is an incomplete statement. Talking about Dickens' presentation of compassion in Hard Times, the sentence given by Spark Notes is incomplete, perpetrating sexist claptrap. It is horrendously slanted, ignoring that compassion is necessary regardless of gender in order for a society to function with sufficient care, to not lose out on 'the heart'.

Spark Notes fails to account for the importance to the structure of Hard Times’ class archetypes of Gradgrind finally learning the necessity of the 'heart', and its inclusion of 'fancy', as opposed to an industrialist society focused merely on the tagline 'fact, fact, fact', where Utilitarianism is taken out of the initial suggestion and used instead for selfish self-advancement, regardless of the pain of the 'hands', or the lack of 'love' which only Sissy and her circus family (a marginalised part of society) show from their very introduction. A warning, certainly: let us not rely upon Spark Notes’ oversights. (Far too dull, anyway, for essay fodder!)


Do not read Spark Notes... make your own notes, or read some decent criticism of the text...