Significance of Coketown in "Hard Times" Analytical Essay by Shaad

Significance of Coketown in "Hard Times"
This paper provides an examination of Charles Dickens' novel 'Hard Times' and the allegorical significance of Coketown, applying sociological and historical perspectives.
# 116421 | 2,430 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2008 | BD
Published by on Sep 24, 2009 in History (British) , Literature (English) , Sociology (General) , Political Science (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


In this article, the writer studies the allegorical significance of Coketown within Dickens' novel 'Hard Times'. The writer maintains that the typical manufacturing towns of industrial Britain are examined and Dickens intends to penetrate through the veneer of material prosperity and expose how society was degenerating in many ways. The writer discusses that Dickens' particular wrath is reserved for the ethos of utilitarianism which characterized the Victorian epoch. He demonstrates how this philosophy becomes a smokescreen that hides the ambition of the baser elements of society and facilitates their rise to dominance. The writer maintains that Dickens wants to show that cold calculation and self interest do not make for an environment of healthy human interaction. The essay offers detailed character studies as well as sociological and historical analyses of the times.

From the Paper:

"Coketown is an allegorical place through which Dickens presents his vision of Industrial England. It is a harsh and bitter reality that he intends to convey. In the wake of the Industrial Revolution, Britain witnessed the phenomenon of the Industrial town, a place devoted to manufactures by the way of enormous factories, and driven by a voracious profit motive of the capitalists who owned the factories. The ferocious ambition of the capitalists led to exploitation on an unprecedented scale. The land and resources were plundered, and the brunt of the exploitation fell on the lower strata of society, who were forced to abandon the countryside and to huddle in the city slums, because the factories offered the only means of subsistence for them. The harsh realities of Industrialism are what gave rise to Socialism from various learned and intellectual centers in Europe. This was a political philosophy that sympathized with the oppressed proletariat after positing a class struggle between the owners of capital and their workers. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith. Charles Dickens: A Critical Study. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2005.
  • Dickens, Charles. Hard Times. Contributor Dinny Thorold. Reston, VA: Wordsworth Editions, 1995.
  • Shaw, George Bernard. Shaw on Dickens. Eds. Dan H. Laurence, Martin Quinn. New York: F. Ungar, 1985.
  • Yeats, William Butler. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats. Reston, VA: Wordsworth Editions, 2000.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Significance of Coketown in "Hard Times" (2009, September 24) Retrieved October 22, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Significance of Coketown in "Hard Times"" 24 September 2009. Web. 22 October. 2019. <>