Hard Times: Book 2 Chapter 3 - Summary & Analysis

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Summary

      When Harthouse comes back to his hotel from Bounderby’s residence, he trickly takes Tom with him. Tom feels quite happy in Harthouse’s company who offers him his hospitality with excellent tobacco and liquor. Under the influence of liquor and spell cast by Harthouse, Tom opens certain facts about Louisa and Bounderby to him. He says that Louisa has married Bounderby not because she loved him but because of his father’s desire. He also says that he is taking full benefit of Louisa’s love for him and he obtains easily whatever concessions can be from Bounderby. This news is very useful for Harthouse that Louisa has not married Bounderby out of love and she never had any lover.

Critical Analysis

      Tom, in this chapter, is portrayed as a very dark character. He is the most self-centered, unscrupulous and irresponsible kind of person. Dickens says if Tom were to realize the harm that he had done to his sister Louisa that night, he would have gone and drowned himself in the muddy waters of the close river.

      Harthouse does not seem only shrewd and clever but he has some ill design in his mind for Louisa. He is interested in extracting few information from Tom, thus he invites him to his hotel room and asks so many questions. After getting the needful information, he bluntly says Tom to leave.

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