In the end Mr Bounderby “was to die of a fit in the Coketown Street. ” This is ironic, as he always lied that he was brought up in the gutter, and he died face down in the gutter. The audience get the impression from early on in the novel that Louisa and Tom are fed up with all the facts and wants to have an imagination. The audience know this because Gradgrind finds Louisa “peeping with all her might through a hole … and tom abasing himself on the ground” to see the circus.
Gradgrind has brought his children up to “never wonder”. We know this as Louisa was overheard in a conversation which began “Tom, I wonder” to which Gradgrind said “Louisa, never wonder! ” But when she is older she talks to Sissy about her father and is very inquisitive as she asks questions like “Tell me more about him … Where did you live? ” which tells us she is wondering. Dickens is telling us here that it is impossible to not wonder.
Louisa wonders about love, which is using her heart, which she is forbidden to do. As she asks Sissy, about her mother and father “Did your father love her? ” Dickens is telling us that as Louisa’s mother and father don’t love each other Louisa wonders if it is the same for everybody. Louisa says to Sissy than “you are more useful to my mother and more pleasant than I can ever be. ” She says this because Sissy has been brought up to love whereas Louisa can’t love anyone. Not even her own mother.
Tom says that “I am sick of my life” he also refers to himself as “a Donkey” Dickens is implying to the reader that if you are taught without imagining or you are never amused then you become low spirited and hate yourself. The author then addresses two of the main themes in the book, which are loveless marriages and the lack of love in Gradgrind’s family. When Gradgrind addresses Louisa with the proposal of marriage from Bounderby, Louisa doesn’t said anything until she is prompted by her father to say “I hear you father.
I am attending, I assure you. ” It is as if she is in a lesson and is a bit late for the lesson. Dickens is suggesting to us that even something as serious as marriage is trying to be taught like a fact would be. But the author using the narrative voice says, “she returned, without any visible emotion whatever” Here Dickens is suggesting to you, that she knew that she was going to get a proposal of marriage. She knew that it would be from Bounderby and she was waiting for it to happen.
The reader knows this because she doesn’t ask whom the proposal is from and when Gradgrind asks her if she has had another proposal of marriage that she hasn’t told him about she replies “what other proposal can have been made to me? Whom have I seen? Where have I been? ” Dickens also suggests that as she knew what was going to happen. She knew that she was going to be forced to marry him by Gradgrind. The reader feels this because, Gradgrind tells Louisa that “Bounderby would have seen you grow up under his eyes, to very little purpose, if he could so far forget what is due to your good sense,”
But it isn’t just her father who is forcing her to marry Bounderby it is also her brother. Because Tom is living with Bounderby and earlier on in the novel, we saw that Tom and Louisa love each other and they would sacrifice things for each other. For example Tom says “I don’t know what this – jolly old – Jaundiced Jail” “would be without you” so Louisa is being forced to marry Bounderby so she can be reunited with her brother.