Rachael: Character Analysis in Hard Times

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Her Physical Appearance

      Rachael is a lady of thirty-five years “with a quiet oval face, dark and delicate, irritated by a pair of very gentle eyes and shinning black hair.” She has very genuine friendship with Stephen.

A Faithful and Sympathetic Friend

      Rachael is the most beloved friend of Stephen and she remains loyal to him in the moments of his crisis of life. She is like an angel for Stephen. She can be regarded as the most faultless heroine of Dickens’ novel. Often she appears, in the most emotional episodes and behaves throughout very modestly She is so perfect that, very rare she speaks in the dialect of Lancashire used by Stephen and perhaps by the workers with the exception of Slackbridge who is a professional orator. She is such a good character that she attends upon the spoilt wife of Stephen even after his death. She plays the role of an angel, protector saving Stephen from temptation. She fails to prevent the ruin that overtakes Stephen. She is very receptive and easily befriends Mrs. Pegler and Sissy Like Sissy Rachael is the link between many groups, all facing bad days as victimized by Industrial system.

She is Angelic

      Rachael’s heart is brimmed with sympathy and angel like properties. When she finds Stephen’s wife lying on Stephen’s bed after having great amount of liquor, Rachael looks after her with too gentleness and compassion. Suddenly Stephen’s wife wakes up and picks up a bottle lying on the table. She thinks it to be liquor but it is the bottle of poison. She is about to swallow the poison in front of Stephen who is sitting in his chair and watching everything with indifference, but Rachael comes forward quickly and snatches the bottle away from the hands of the drunkard wife of Stephen. Stephen wants her to die and swallow the poison. Rachael, here acts like an angel and Stephen says, “Thou art angel, Bless thee, bless thee.” But Rachael only thinks that her act was like that of a human being. She was not exalted at all for what she has done. She says to Stephen, “I am as I have told thee, Stephen, thy poor friend. Angels are not like me.”

      Though Rachael is sympathetic and milk-hearted, she has the spirit of taking initiatives and enterprise. When she learns that Stephen is charged for robbing the bank, she takes the initiative and writes a letter to Stephen to reach to Coketown and vindicate himself because she has this conviction that Stephen is not a thief and he is a man of integrity Dickens observes this conviction of Rachael in the following manner: “Throws off all distrust as the rock throws off the sea.”

Rachael’s Belief in Stephen’s Integrity

      Rachael’s belief in Stephen’s integrity does not oscillate at any point. When a reward is announced for the man who ever: will assist in the arrest of Stephen who is under the suspicion of committing robbery at Bounderby’s bank, Rachael becomes upset. She fails to tolerate the name of an innocent man being charged for robbery She, without any waste of time, goes to meet Bounderby and tells him everything about the visit of Louisa and Tom to Stephen’s residence. She informs him that Louisa has offered a huge amount of money to Stephen, and Stephen had politely refused to accept that. He did not want to displease Louisa, thus he accepted only two pounds but as a loan and under the condition to repay To sum up Rachael remains a thorough good character in Hard Times.

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