Louisa was influenced by her fathers educational system, causing her to base all experiences on facts, without any imagination involved in determinism. She was forced by her fathers philosophy to learn that you musnt fancy (14) causing her to base all experiences exclusively on fact. This type of guidance restricted all emotions within her life. As a result of her fathers teachings throughout the novel Louisa slowly comes to a realization that she was dependent on others ideas, and doesnt have any emotional experiences to guide her own positions. This is directly evident at two points in the text; First when she had been presented with a proposal for marriage, and on her voyage to visit her ill mother. By Louisa being able to distinguish the need for emotional experiences, Louisa is able to help her father see the negative impact of his philosophy of facts.
It becomes evident that Louisa had suffered from her fathers education system when Mr.Gradgrind had presented Louisa with Mr.Bounderbys proposal of marriage. At this point her father is proud of her unimaginative attitude, you are not impulsive, you are not ironic, you are accustomed to view everything from strong dispassionate ground of reason and calculation (99). Upon Louisas response to the proposal, she goes through a series of questioning her father for the right answer, does Mr Bounderby ask me to love him?(101) What would you advise me to use in its stead, father?(100). The latter quote only shows how her fathers authoritarian upbringing has influenced her own judgments. By not allowing Louisa to posses these fancies which in turn leads to development of the imagination, he actually causes her unhappiness. Her answer is one that involves no emotion, and this can be seen in the blandness of her remark, Mr Bounderby asks me to marry him. The question I have to ask myself is, shall I marry him? That is so, father, is it not? You have told me so, father. Have you not?.(103)
The second point at which Louisa realizes that her fathers philosophy has a suppressing influence on her emotions was during a voyage home to visit her sick mother. During this voyage there is a point when Dickens writes as she approached her home now, did any of the best influences of old home descend upon her. The dreams of childhood – its airy fables; its graceful, beautiful humane, impossible adornments of the world beyond … what had she to do with these? (198). Louisa become conscious that her fathers school of facts has left her with nothing in place of her childhood. Her remembrances of home and childhood were remembrances of the drying up of every spring and fountain in her young heart as it gushed out. The golden waters were not there. (198). This is significant because Louisa has now recognized that her fathers philosophy of facts facts facts has left her with no emotional experiences, which would have helped to create her childhood dreams. Louisa is now aware that if she were to live a life of pleasure she must begin by living her life guided by her emotions, and not by her fathers philosophy of facts. After feeling some emotions towards James Harthouse, Louisa finally confronts her father on how corrupt his school of facts is, and how it has left her with no emotional experiences to guide her, I curse the hour in which I was born to such a destiny…How could you give me life, and take from me all the inappreciable things that raise it from the state of conscious death? Where are the graces of my soul? Where are the sentiments of my heart ? What have you done, O father, what have you done ..(215). As the scene progresses, Louisa tells her father that the cause of her unhappy marriage is because she had been forced into it, You proposed my husband to me. I took him. I never made a pretense to him or you that I loved him. I knew, and, father you knew, and he knew that I never did (217). At this point her father realizes that she has been unhappy, and makes his first attempt to comfort her as a parent.
Throughout the novel, Louisa realizes that she does not have any emotional experiences to steer her. Her revolutions of her own feelings help to embellish these emotions. And without her confrontation of her father, his ideologies, and self-reflection of her childhood, she may have remained blind to her own feelings. The ironic part is that for Louisa it took the actual Fancy to come forth in Louisa to determine her Reason.