Social Justice

hard-timesIn a gorgeous display of sarcasm, Dickens shows (in words, not tabular statements) that although they’re from a small city, Coketown’s people are active in social justice. Coketown petitioned the legislature to ‘make these people religious by main force.  Then came the Teetotal Society, who complained that these same people would get drunk, and showed in tabular statements that they did get drunk, and proved at tea parties that no inducement, human or Divine (except a medal), would induce them to forego their custom of getting drunk.  Then came the chemist and druggist, with other tabular statements, showing that when they didn’t get drunk, they took opium.  Then came the experienced chaplain of the jail, with more tabular statements, outdoing all the previous tabular statements, and showing that the same people would resort to low haunts, hidden from the public eye, where they heard low singing and saw low dancing, and mayhap joined in it; and where A. B., aged twenty-four next birthday, and committed for eighteen months’ solitary, had himself said (not that he had ever shown himself particularly worthy of belief) his ruin began, as he was perfectly sure and confident that otherwise he would have been a tip-top moral specimen.’

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