Hard Times

"Your philosophy and teaching will not save me...Save me by some other means..." Discuss Louisa's predicament and show the significance of this statement to the novel as a whole.

Book The Second, Chapter 12

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Trapped in a loveless marriage to James Bounderby, Louisa has been tempted by the attention given to her by James Harthouse. Her marriage to Bounderby had been arranged by her father because marriage to Bounderby would be practical and useful. Bounderby, like Louisa's father, subscribes to the ideas of utilitarianism. Now Louisa is tempted to commit adultery because she has no feelings for Bounderby. Her marriage may be practical, but there is no love. Louisa knows that it would be wrong to give in to the temptation, but her heart is stronger than her head. She is letting her father know that the wisdom of the head, the utilitarian philosophy, will not save her in this situation. Her father's philosophy will not prevent her from giving in to her temptation--she needs him to help her by some other means.