Hard Times

comment on the sub plot involving stephen and Tom .

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Stephen is a poor laborer in one of Josiah Bounderby's factories. He is married to a drunk woman who wanders in and out of his life. After losing his job at the factory, Stephen is forced to leave Coketown and find work elsewhere. In his absence, Stephen is accused of committing a crime that he did not actually commit. When returning to Coketown to defend his honor, Stephen falls into a pit and injures himself. He is rescued but he eventually dies. Tom is also referred to as "the whelp." He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gradgrind and an employee of Mr. Bounderby. He is resentful towards his sister, Louisa, though she is only kind towards him. His ultimate misdeed comes when he steals money from his safe in the bank and then announces the loss as a true theft. In the end, Tom is forced to flee the country to escape punishment. He dies overseas and full of regret.