Hard Times

What is the irony of Mr. Gradgrind’s comment, “You are an affectionate, earnest, good young woman—and—and we must make that do”? Most people would see this as a compliment, but Mr. Gradgrind sees it as Sissy falling short yet again. Mr. Gradgrind me


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In Mr. Gradgrind's case, he is able to recognize that which is:  "affectionate, earnest, young good woman."  The irony is that although most people would consider these excellent qualities, they are not considered "good enough" for the mentality of a man like Gradgrind.