Dickens Hard Times And The Yorkshire Cloth Worker's Petition

601 Words3 Pages
The Industrial revolution had many benefits such as the introduction of mass production, which allowed for the price of consumer goods to plummet, yet as with most changes, there are both supporters and non-supporters.
Consequently. the first people who started to feel the negative effect of the Industrial Revolution were skilled artisans such as cloth workers. This is best exemplified in the Yorkshire Cloth Worker’s Petition. The petition uses two core arguments. The first argument focuses on is the damage that can happen if people are replaced by machines. This is clearly expressed in the quote “How are those men, thus thrown out of employment to provide for their families- and what are they to put their children to apprentice to, that
…show more content…
Both Hard Times and the Yorkshire Cloth Worker’s Petition have the same argument about industrialization causing people to lose their humanity. In the case of Hard Times, it starts with an employer named Mr. Gradgrind, which his name is an onomatopoeic for the sound of an of a machine churning. His lack of human compassion is further elucidated when Dickens describes him as “With a rule, and a pair of scales and the multiplication table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to”, which reflected the sentiment of early industrialists that workers were expendable objects whose only purpose in their life is make to profit. While he has no humanity in him, he also goes out of his way on enforcing that mentality onto his workers, which was exemplified when he called a little girl “Girl Number 20” instead of by her name Sissy Jupe. He also goes out his way to mock Sissy for not knowing what a horse is. I can expect that Sissy was only around 10 years old, but if she is referred to as a number and mocked at work every day from dawn to dusk, it wouldn’t be surprising to expect that she will lose her sense of individualism and humanity. This sentiment would be even further compounded as there are hundreds of other children working beside her in the factories also being tormented at work by Mr.
Open Document