The Character Development of Louisa Gradgrind in Charles Dickens’s Hard Times: A Statistical Syntactic Analysis of Sentence Type

Suzan Makhloof


This paper aims at investigating the character mental and psychological development of Louisa Gradgrind in Dickens’s Hard Times through statistically analyzing the sentential simplicity and complexity used in her dramatic speeches throughout the novel. Her character development can be reflectedin three phases: before change, in the process of change and after change. The statistical analysis is based on Leech et al.’s (1982) binary classificatio of sentences according to the type and number of clauses within a sentence. This statistical syntactic analysis provides the frequencies and percentages of the occurrence of each sentence type in Louisa’s dramatic speeches in these three phases. Then, these percentages are contrasted in order to reach a conclusion.


Linguistics, Sentence Type, Development, Hard Times, Gradgrind, Dickens, Louisa

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