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Reading Fiction: Mr Gradgrind

In this worksheets, students will read an extract and search for layers of meaning - both explicit and implicit.

'Reading Fiction: Mr Gradgrind' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Understand Meaning

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

The following extract is taken from Hard Times by Charles Dickens.


Mr Gradgrind's Speech:


'NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!'

  ...The emphasis was helped by the speaker's square wall of a forehead, which had his eyebrows for its base, while his eyes found commodious cellarage in two dark caves, overshadowed by the wall. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's mouth, which was wide, thin, and hard set. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's voice, which was inflexible, dry, and dictatorial. ... The speaker's obstinate carriage, square coat, square legs, square shoulders, - nay, his very neckcloth, trained to take him by the throat with an unaccommodating grasp, like a stubborn fact, as it was, - all helped the emphasis.
'In this life, we want nothing but Facts, sir; nothing but Facts!
'
 

Now answer the following questions. You can view the text again if you need to by clicking on the Help button.

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