“It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a ... weiterlesensavage. It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, and vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness.”
“Hard Times” by Charles Dickens surveys English society and satirises the social and economic conditions of the Victorian era. The story of “Hard Times” is set in the fictitious Victorian industrial Coketown, a generic Northern English mill-town.