Mrs. Sparsit (Bounderby's servant) witnesses Harthouse confessing to Louisa his love for her and they arrange to secretly meet later that night, however Louisa instead goes to her Father’s house where she confronts him about her feelings and emotions she has hidden for all her life. She explains how her upbringing has caused her to marry a man she does not love, be unhappy for life and has feelings for Harthouse. She falls to the floor and while Gradgrind listens he starts to realise life is not based upon facts.
Sissy visits Harthouse and persuades him to leave Coketown forever and to never see Louisa again, for Louisa’s purposes. Meanwhile when Stephen tries to return to Coketown to clear his name he falls into a deep pit called ‘Old Hell Shaft’. Anxious, Louisa and Rachael go looking fot him and find him in the pit alive however dies after saying his goodbyes to Rachael.
Louisa and Gradgrind realise Tom is responsible for the bank robbery and have him leave England from the help of the circus performers ( who Sissy spent her early childhood with). They bump into Bitzer, a young man who went to Gradgrind’s school and tries to stop Tom from escaping however Sleary, the owner of the circus manages to successfully get Tom out of Bitzer’s sight and he flees England.
Mrs. Sparsit who is trying to help Bounderby find the robbers, drags in Mrs. Pegler who is a known associate of Stephen, in thinking she was a witness of the robbery. It is soon revealed that Mrs. Pegler is Bounderby’s loving mother who Bounderby banned her from visiting him. Mrs. Pegler unfolds the truth about Bounderby’s childhood. He is not a self-made man who had a hard upbringing but in fact lived with his mother and had everything he wanted. Mrs.Sparsit is fired and is sent away.
Five years later Bounderby will die alone in the streets of Coketown. Gradgrind gives up his theory about facts and finally expands his mind in a more imaginative way. He uses his political power to help the poor. Tom realises his mistakes but dies without seeing his family again.
Sissy marries and has a large loving family, while Louisa never marries again or has children but is loved by Sissy’s family and starts to understand her emotions.