hard times

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a time of difficulty

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Thomas Gradgrind, that dreary caricature of a functionary headmaster of Charles Dickins' Hard Times, comes to look every day more like a visionary when set beside our educational experts.
Dickens presents the results of such excess brilliantly in Hard Times, where a much-shaken Mr Gradgrind appeals to his former model student, Bitzer, the prize pupil of McChoakumchild's grim utilitarian school:
It is quite prescriptive and uses words like grammar, spelling and times tables that always worry people ready to believe things are retreating to some Thomas Gradgrind world of 'fact, fact, fact'.
I do not think most universities are led by a President Gradgrind or Dean Bounderby or humanities departments by a Professor Bitzer.
Gradgrind asks student number 20, a poor little child named Sissy Jupe, to tell the class about herself.
There will also be readings at appropriate places in Blists Hill, such as the scene with Thomas Gradgrind from Hard Times in the Victorian School House.
If you deny that, you enter a Gradgrind world of factuality which is spiritless.
Its conclusion that Monitorial education should not be anachronistically equated with Dickens s Gradgrind is long overdue, although I am not entirely convinced that Bell s system is best described as "gothic.
By the end of the novel, Gradgrind has learned the insufficiency of facts for the conduct of human life, as he might have done merely by a little self-examination or reflection on the nature of moral and aesthetic judgment.
Capitalists Gradgrind and Bounderby teach all others to quell their imagination and dreams, especially their own children.
Cameron's proposal that the long-term unemployed perform at least 30 hours a week on voluntary service in return benefits can sound like a Gradgrind return to workhouse days or a chance for the disheartened jobless to gain a little pride and recall workplace disciplines.
The philosophy of Gradgrind still prevails in any workplace dominated by the need to make more and more profit with each year that passes.
Mike's incessant drive to know more was not at all some sort of dull gradgrind process.
If Jones's appropriation of the indigenous voice is not always entirely convincing, it does seem plausible that a young indigene would look up to a schoolteacher who is the opposite in every way to a Gradgrind, and unquestioningly admire Dickens's classic.
The character in question is Thomas Gradgrind and he is an unswerving devotee of a particular form of consequentialist political philosophy: utilitarianism.