The first two chapters in the book Hard Times make the reader aware of two forms of the novel. The two forms of the novel are argumentative and narrative. The first two chapters display these two forms by the context of chapters, characters, and the tone of voice used by the characters. The context of the first two chapters writes that “facts alone are wanted in life” (dickens 7). This subject is expressed through narrative and argumentative forms. Narrative form is expressed in a story from one person’s point of view of the situation. The narrator takes the audience through a series of events in chronological order. To explain the context of the book, the narrator does this in chronological order.
The beginning of chapter one starts with a description and continues talking about the subject with examples. One example is how fact can be applied to reality. The example used in Hard Times was a question of whether or not we would ” paper a room with representations of horses” (Dickens 10). In fact, it is not possible to see “horses walking up and down the sides of the rooms in reality” (Dickens 10). The statement that we are “to be in all things regulated and governed . . . by the fact” (Dickens 11) disproves the element of imagination and creativity in reality. It is possible to put wallpaper with pictures of horses on a wall. But if everything must be fact, then art cannot be seen as fact. Art is used to seeing one person’s perspective of reality and cannot always be proved by “combinations and modifications of mathematical figures” (Dickens 11).
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The context of fact in Hard Times is argumentative because it goes against imagination and creativity which is an important element of society. We can see how the context of the book develops itself with characters. The development of this theory is created with a narrative form. We can see this development by characters that cannot comprehend the theory. One character that has trouble understanding fact, in reality, is Cecilia Jupe. Cecilia does not understand the difference between fancying something and fact. For example, when she is asked if she would put representations of flowers on a carpet, she replies, yes. In fact, this is not possible because in reality we cannot walk over flowers and crush them.
We can see with the character Cecilia an argumentative form because what she thinks goes against the theory in the novel. Since Cecilia wants to fancy representations of flowers on a carpet, we can see an opposing point of view to the theory. Although Dickens attempts to prove Cecilia wrong to develop the theory, the audience might not agree the Dickens’s argument is strong enough. Cecilia adds a weak point to the theory. If we do not believe in Cecilia then we cannot believe in creativity and imagination. In the development of the theory, Dickens uses a strong tone of voice to support this. A strong tone of voice can be seen in the novel by the characters and subject. In the narrative form, characters help to create an environment of conversation. This conversation can be used to explain the theory. Characters are important to this because strong characters can represent strong arguments. For example, the character Thomas Gradgrind is a strong character. He is described to be “a man of realities . . . facts and calculations” (Dickens 8).
With his character, he can conduct the direction of the conversations in the novel. Since Mr. Gradgrind symbolizes a man of fact, the conversations will move toward what he believes to be true. Although the theory in the first two chapters of the book goes against imagination Mr. Gradgrind uses a form of argument to prove this wrong. Mr. Gradgrind makes his theory stronger by arguing with other characters in the novel. For example, he picks on the character Cecilia Jupe because cannot define a horse. Mr. Gradgrind speaks back at Cecilia Jupe in a loud tone of voice to prove his point. He uses Cecilia Jupe to make his argument stronger. With an argumentative form, Mr. Gradgrind is able to make his theory sound correct. The forms in a novel are important in how everything fits together. The narrative and argumentative form in the first two chapters of Hard Times shape the structure of the novel. Charles Dickens uses the technique of form to develop his theory at the beginning of the novel.