Hard Times: Book 1 Chapter 16 - Summary & Analysis

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Husband and Wife


      Bounderby finds Mrs. Sparsit’s reaction very much unexpected after listening to the news of his marriage proposal with Louisa. He expects her to be faint in sorrow or explode in anger but Mrs. Sparsit simply stares Bounderby with a sympathetic look and offers her best wishes to him. It is decided that after the marriage Mrs. Spar sit will leave Bounderby’s house and live in the apartment of the bank building with all other facilities to which she is entitled. She would get her annual compliment also.

      After eight weeks, Bounderby gets married with Louisa. He delivers a brief speech on his reception that he is very happy to marry Louisa and he believes her to be faithful to him and himself to be worthy to her. Then they depart for Lyons for their honeymoon. Tom, Louisa’s brother, is immensely happy on this marriage.

Critical Analysis

      In this chapter, we find plenty of humor produced by the irony with which Mrs. Sparsit’s behavior is depicted. Mrs. Sparsit’s unexpected response to Bounderby on listening about his proposed marriage with Louisa, is extremely amusing.

      Tom’s happiness on the occasion of his sister’s marriage with his employer is remarkable. He has thought of enjoying all possible privileges under the name of his sister.

      The preparations for the marriage are dealt with satirically. “The business was all facts from first to last.”

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