The de-humanising effects of the doctrine

The moment in which Loo would have jumped on her dad is ‘shot away into the plumbless depths of the past… lost opportunities that are drowned there. Once again this shows the bad qualities of fact as it ‘drowns’ these sentimental opportunities. Drown is an important word here because it is a slow and painful word about death, this clearly isn’t a pleasant image at all and is used to emphasize the severity of the problem. Louisa then starts talking about how ‘there seems to be nothing there but languid and monotonous smoke. Yet when the night comes, Fire bursts out! ‘ this could be looked at metaphorically as an incite into Louisa.

During the day she intakes the monotonous facts but at nice she bursts with the wonderment at the fire itself. With all the negative description of Coketown so far we could say that the way Louisa is and more importantly the way she is becoming, is a very negative thing, almost de-humanising her in the sense that she is being related to an industrial town, which doesn’t have any fancy about it.

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There is further criticism of Utilitarianism when Loo is talking about her own life and how short it is, Gradgrind tells her that it is ‘governed by the laws which govern lives in the aggregate’ i.e. her life is controlled by what happens to others, this is utilitarian because it is talking about the people and not the individual and there is criticism here in the fact that Gradgrind can’t properly answer Loo’s question about how short life is using his utilitarian principles.

Dickens is saying that utilitarianism doesn’t hold the answers to the important questions individuals pose. This is de-humanisation in the sense that people aren’t dealt with individually but as a part of the whole, there is no individualism and as a result no individuality.

Furthermore Gradgrind can’t answer, or even understand Louisa’s question ‘what does it matter? ‘ showing even furthermore the limitations of the principles and the de-humanisation of this father- daughter relationship in the sense that even when she tries to reach out to him he does not understand or register it. Finally she accepts Bounderby’s proposal in the final act of de-humanisation in the sense that she doesn’t look at her own feelings to make this decision but merely makes the decision then and there with no sense of emotion in her at all, but just says, ‘let it be so’