Good Example Of Common These In “Hard Times” And “Nothing Can Save US”, Explained Through Dickens’ Characters Essay
Humans comply with afore set principles, behavioral or existential models, which often make them see the world from a single perspective. Not having the courage, the attitude and neither the intent to find another approach implies a resignation or blindly acceptance of a common sense, which has all the answers. Charles Dickens uses the characters in “Hard Times” for describing the common sense that limits the human thinking and victimizes those against the system (Cazdyn & Szeman 5), and this a mutual thesis in both “Hard Times” and “Nothing Can Save Us”.
Cazdyn and Szeman (7) indicate that common sense is a form of received wisdom that describes “the way things are” as a set of inherited beliefs, ideas, behaviors or thinking models. Dickens’ “Hard Times” emphasizes several characters that support this thesis. Louisa, Thomas Gradging’s daughter states “What does it matter!” (Dickens 131) when she decides to marry a man that she does not love, considering that this is how things should be in the world. Her father, the wealthy retired merchant, lives his life based on a philosophy that he further transmits onto his son, Tom, who becomes self-interested like his father, accommodating to the wisdom transmitted onto him.
Josiah Bounderby, Louisa’s husband, is also an adept of the inherited wisdom philosophy, explaining his common sense theory to Stephen, the young worker who refused to join his fellow workers in creating a labor union. “even your own Union, the men you know best, will have nothing to do with you  I so far go along with them for a novelty, that I’ll have nothing to do with you either” (Dickens 195). Stephen is an outcast, Dickens’ most prominent character that defies the common sense, refusing to stand behind his fellow workers and implicitly to sustain their inherited idea that workers must fight their employers and refusing also to spy on his teammates. Bounderby explains to him that his attitude with not taking any side makes him unpleasant for both the workers and the employers. The common sense of taking sides, of doing what everybody else does, or behaving like the others, is how Dickens describes the system that “Nothing Can Save Us” text presents.
The system wherein the common sense rules allow corruption to triumph and injustice to dominate over truth, real feelings and honesty characterizes Coketown environment. Through its characters, “Hard Times” exemplifies an artificial system that deepens into a social common sense, making things every day more difficult for the ones who fail to comply with it. The lecture contributes to better understanding “Nothing Can Save Us” text, depicting a sense of explaining why nothing can save us. The answer to this question, to whose formulation Dickens’ “Hard Times” contributes, is that everything is corrupted, everything is unnatural and deemed to falling under the common sense that rejects original thought and limits the thinking process of finding new perspectives of seeing things.
While Thomas Gradging and his children Louisa and Tom or Josiah Bounderby incorporate the common sense concept from “Nothing Can Save Us”, Stephen makes the reader comprehend that those who fail to comply with the system will be banished and replaced. Dickens’ “Hard Times” allows a deeper understanding of Cazdyn and Szeman’s text, because through its characters, it explains that the adepts of a common sense thinking will give no chance to the ones against the system, giving them no salvation, hence “Nothing Can Save Us” title.
Cazdyn Eric & Szeman Imre. Nothing Can Save Us. Published 2011 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2011. Print.
Dickens, Charles. Hard Times. London: Bradbury & Evans. 1854. Print.
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