Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 14, 2023
December 7, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Although Louisa is the novel’s principal female character,
she is distinctive from the novel’s other women, particularly her
foils, Sissy and Rachael. While these other two embody the Victorian
ideal of femininity—sensitivity, compassion, and gentleness—Louisa’s
education has prevented her from developing such traits. Instead,
Louisa is silent, cold, and seemingly unfeeling. However, Dickens
may not be implying that Louisa is really unfeeling, but rather
that she simply does not know how to recognize and express her emotions. For
instance, when her father tries to convince her that it would be rational
for her to marry Bounderby, Louisa looks out of the window at the
factory chimneys and observes: “There seems to be nothing there
but languid and monotonous smoke. Yet when the night comes, Fire
bursts out.” Unable to convey the tumultuous feelings that lie beneath
her own languid and monotonous exterior, Louisa can only state a
fact about her surroundings. Yet this fact, by analogy, also describes
the emotions repressed within her.
Even though she does not conform to the Victorian ideals
of femininity, Louisa does her best to be a model daughter, wife,
and sister. Her decision to return to her father’s house rather
than elope with Harthouse demonstrates that while she may be unfeeling,
she does not lack virtue. Indeed, Louisa, though unemotional, still
has the ability to recognize goodness and distinguish between right
and wrong, even when it does not fall within the strict rubric of
her father’s teachings. While at first Louisa lacks the ability
to understand and function within the gray matter of emotions, she
can at least recognize that they exist and are more powerful than
her father or Bounderby believe, even without any factual basis.
Moreover, under Sissy’s guidance, Louisa shows great promise in
learning to express her feelings. Similarly, through her acquaintance
with Rachael and Stephen, Louisa learns to respond charitably to
suffering and to not view suffering simply as a temporary state
that is easily overcome by effort, as her father and Bounderby do.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Hard Times!