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Hard Times

- By Charles Dickens
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Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA (/ˈdɪkɪnz/; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.[1] His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime and, by the 20th century, critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are still widely read today.[2][3] Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education and other social reforms.
'Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!'
The scene was a plain, bare, monotonous vault of a school-room, and the speaker's square forefinger emphasized his observations by underscoring every sentence with a line on the schoolmaster's sleeve. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's square wall of a forehead, which had his eyebrows for its base, while his eyes found commodious cellarage in two dark caves, overshadowed by the wall. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's mouth, which was wide, thin, and hard set. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's voice, which was inflexible, dry, and dictatorial. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's hair, which bristled on the skirts of his bald head, a plantation of firs to keep the wind from its shining surface, all covered with knobs, like the crust of a plum pie, as if the head had scarcely warehouse-room for the hard facts stored inside. The speaker's obstinate carriage, square coat, square legs, square shoulders,-nay, his very neckcloth, trained to take him by the throat with an unaccommodating grasp, like a stubborn fact, as it was,-all helped the emphasis.
'In this life, we want nothing but Facts, sir; nothing but Facts!' The speaker, and the schoolmaster, and the third grown person present, all backed a little, and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of little vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim.

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Questions and Answers Hard Times

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Word Lists:

Speaker : a person who speaks.

Accommodating : willing to fit in with someone's wishes or needs

Commodious : (especially of furniture or a building) roomy and comfortable

Emphasis : special importance, value, or prominence given to something

Inflexible : unwilling to change or compromise

Bristle : a short stiff hair, typically one of those on an animal's skin, a man's face, or a plant.

Brim : the projecting edge around the bottom of a hat

Gallon : a unit of liquid capacity equal to 3.79 liters.

Monotonous : dull, tedious, and repetitious; lacking in variety and interest

Bald : having a scalp wholly or partly lacking hair

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Additional Information:

Rating: C

Words: 328

Unique Words : 172

Sentences : 15

Reading Time : 1:27

Noun : 109

Conjunction : 22

Adverb : 13

Interjection : 0

Adjective : 30

Pronoun : 23

Verb : 45

Preposition : 39

Letter Count : 1,455

Sentiment : Neutral (Moderately Positive)

Tone : Neutral (Slightly Formal)

Difficult Words : 70

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