Sample History Paper on World Civilization II

World Civilization II

Industrialization was one of the major signs of civilization in the world. The process started in the 18th century in Britain and spread through to the rest of the world. However, the process had both negative and positive impacts on humans. Charles Dickens in his book “Hard Times” have provided a sufficient account on the effects of industrialization looking at all the aspects of human lives in an industrial town known as Coketown. According to him, industrialization created wealth and poverty in equal measure. Throughout the book, Dickens has elaborated how industrialization made humans beings overzealous by trying to turn them into machines which in the end thwarted their emotional and imaginational development.

The primary goal of Dickens when he wrote the book was to illustrate the negative effects of allowing humans to be more like the machines. Looking at the political economy during this period when the society tried to come up with the idea of utilitarianism that involved doing the greatest good. Though it sounded as if this was the solution to the problem that people faced, life became unbearable for the poor as utilitarian thinkers overturned the Judeo-Christian ideas such as morality[1]. In the end, people did not have compassion for one another rather each struggled to look for how to get their lives better without caring whether or not they were hurting others. Self-love became evident in the society which made those who have like the rich to continue acquiring more wealth while the poor lived in despair because no one cared about them.

The character Louisa is a perfect example of the detachment in the society brought about industrialization. Her life seems unbearable because of her father who has no compassion or imagination. When she found herself unhappy in her marriage and went back home, Louisa comes to the realization that her detachment with the world was brought about her father’s wrong philosophies about child rearing[2]. Mr. Gradgrind forced his children in a world where fancy was something greatly discouraged which made his children and grandchildren to live a lonely life without social dysfunction. Though rich, people like Mr. Gradgrind children can be considered as poor and living in despair because they do not have a social life. All they were expected to do was work hard to achieve a good life hence had no time for socializing with other people in the society. A person who has been living a secluded life like Louise may find it hard to socialize with people making their lives unbearable and unhappy.

One thing that is evident from the book that makes the author right is that poverty is depicted in various ways and it is one of major effects of industrialization. As a result of industrialization, the rich though progressed in life became obsessed with success to an extent that they formulated a lifestyle of seclusion for their children. The author was trying to convince the readers that though it looks liked this was a hope for a better life, it turned out that the rich people became poor in socialization and lived a lonely life. It shows the ruins brought about by self-love because these people would not socialize with the poor who were believed to be lazy and lived in despair. Louisa was married off by the father for financial transaction and not for love[3]. She ended up living a lonely life forcing her to come back home to the parents to identify what was missing in her life.

In conclusion, though industrialization brought about economic progress, Dickens showed in the book the ways in which self-interest and love ended up ruining the society. Life became hard for both the rich and the poor because they all lacked emotional and imaginational development.  In the end, the people in the society lived in riches and ruins, despair and poverty with little social progress.



Dickens, Charles. Hard Times. London:  Bradbury & Evans, 1854.

Williams, Mukesh. “Dickens’s Hard Times in our Hard Times.” Copperfield Review, April 28, 2012

[1] Mukesh Williams, “Dickens’s Hard Times in our Hard Times,” Copperfield Review, April 28, 2012

[2] Charles Dickens, Hard Times. (London:  Bradbury & Evans, 1854), 102

[3] Mukesh Williams, “Dickens’s Hard Times in our Hard Times,” Copperfield Review, April 28, 2012