Hard Times

1. Explain the description of Coketown as “ruined,” and its inhabitants as “china” in the beginning of Book. What does this mean? Why are they described this way?

beginning of book 2. study guide

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A metaphor is employed when the fragility of the townspeople is understood by their being like "weak china." These people are weary and weak from being exploited workers. They suffer from poor health and poor nutrition.