Out of this furnace. Out Of This Furnace 2022-11-15
Out of this furnace Rating:
Out of This Furnace is a novel by Thomas Bell that tells the story of three generations of a Slovakian immigrant family living in the United States. The book follows the lives of the Kracha family, who come to America in the late 19th century in search of a better life. They eventually settle in Braddock, Pennsylvania, a steel town that becomes the center of their lives and struggles.
The novel begins with the arrival of the family's patriarch, Dobie Kracha, in America. Dobie is a skilled blacksmith who has left his home in Slovakia in hopes of finding work in the United States. He quickly finds employment in Braddock, where the steel industry is booming. Dobie's work is hard and dangerous, and he spends long hours in the hot, smoky mills. Despite the challenges, Dobie is able to provide for his family and even saves enough money to bring his wife and children to America.
As the novel progresses, we see the Kracha family struggle to adjust to life in America. The family faces discrimination and poverty, and they must work hard to make ends meet. The children of the family, including the main character, George Kracha, face their own challenges as they grow up in the harsh industrial environment of Braddock. George becomes a steelworker like his father and grandfather, and he too must endure the long hours and dangerous conditions of the mill.
Despite the difficulties they face, the Kracha family remains close-knit and supportive of one another. They rely on each other for strength and help each other through hard times. The novel also touches on themes of love, loyalty, and the importance of family.
Out of This Furnace is a powerful and moving portrayal of the immigrant experience in America. It shows the struggles and hardships faced by immigrants as they try to make a new life in a new country. It also illustrates the strength and resilience of the human spirit, as the Kracha family perseveres through difficult times and emerges stronger for it. Overall, the novel is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices and struggles of those who came before us, and the enduring power of family.
Out of This Furnace Part 2, Mike Dobrejcak: Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis
The first generation, Andras and Mikolas, are brothers who come to America in search of work. At the bar, Russell sabotages DeGroat's van to prevent his escape and confronts him. Retrieved July 6, 2013. I learned more about immigrant and labor history from this book than I did from any immigrant or labor history textbook. An excellent historical novel about the Western PA steel industry. Women working differently but equally as hard.
Retrieved April 16, 2012. Gender and International Migration. The plan works and they are elected union representatives. Retrieved November 30, 2013. When the Krachas arrive in Homestead, Andrej pays his Irish foreman three dollars to give Kracha a job in the steel mill.
The second section helps one experience the daily challenges of life of Slovak steel working families in the early 20th century. An excellent novel, made more enjoyable and interesting by my own travels and explorations in the steel towns along the Monongahela River. He soon falls in love with Mary Kracha and the two begin to date. Dobie Dobrejcak, the third generation, came of age in the 1920s determined not to be sacrificed to the mills. Third, it was the time to ask for improvements. Although he had little formal education, over the years he developed a self-taught style of simple vigor and extraordinary clarity.
Out of This Furnace is a document of ethnic heritage and of a violent and cruel period in our history, but it is also a superb story. It tracks his arrival from the old country as he walked from New York to White Haven, his later migration to the steel mills of Braddock, Pennsylvania, and his eventual downfall through foolish financial speculations and an extramarital affair. Despite her hardships and lack of money, Mary and Johnny still manage to create a nice Christmas for the family. Works Cited Amadeo, Kimberly. His belief that such a social transformation was possible attested to the continued vitality of the American Dream and the willingness of people to pursue that dream against great odds.
Learn more It is not only a biography of several people. Its story of three generations of an immigrant Slovak family -- the Dobrejcaks -- still stands as a fresh and extraordinary accomplishment. They did not find it necessary to prove something or strive for something new. Compared to women who had to follow the rules and ask for support, men had to take steps and try something to open new doors and change their lives. From my Grandfather's perspective growing up in the 1920s as a little Black boy, the bottom barrel steelworkers were still pretty diverse. Mary cannot understand his refusal to pay more, especially since he spends most of his money on whiskey. He was an abusive, misogynistic piece of shit; I couldn't contain my anger at the way he treated Elena and even his weird fetish with Zuska.
The novel is fascinating in tracing an immigrant family's experiences in Braddock and the nearby area, as they struggle, generation after generation, to survive and overcome exploitation by the steel industry. The only reason I gave it two stars was because it had its facts straight, other than that; NEVER READ IT!!! I lived for a time in Pittsburgh. However it is interesting to note that Bell's personal ties to this novel which was modeled after his own family forces you to see things through the Slovak lens. Pauline dies a year after her mother. Anyway, Dobie was super determined and was also pretty sweet to his wife which was appreciated. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
However, the desperation and willingness to work that drives teenagers like Johnny into the labor force also benefits businesses that can rely on a constant stream of labor, which lets them keep wages down and suppress union activity. European people got opportunities to work and earn. The third generation of immigrants was full of energy and support to understand that they could change something as soon as they start talking. Though such issues as Americanization, native traditions, cultural varieties, and gender roles were still problematic in society, female immigrants got better economic and political support from the government. Johnny enjoys the evening stroll through the cold night up the dark hillside leading towards Homestead while Mary struggles to keep up with him.
The passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act grants workers the right to collectively bargain through their chosen representatives, but the company skirts the law by creating Employee Representation Plans ERP , a form of company union led by steel bosses. At home, Dobie is astonished when his grandfather tells him that steelworkers in Braddock were once unionized. He was supposed to take a "dive" to repay some of the debt, but becomes enraged when beat up and defeats his opponent instead. In one of the novel's saddest moments, a sudden tragedy disrupts the attempts of Mike and Mary Dobrejcak to build their own American dream together. I'd probably give it 3.
In a town where men frequently die in the steel mill, she soon learns that people have finite sympathy for women thrust into widowhood. Make a stink every time a foreman looks at a man cross-eyed. I learned so much about the history of my birthplace in that ancestors didn't arrive to the area until the 1920s. Originally published in 1941 and reissued, with changes from the original, in 1950. Upon returning to the mill, Wesley visits Russell and confirms Rodney's death. But through it all, they never give up hope of achieving the American Dream. They move back to Braddock to a three-room dwelling, near Alice.
Mary and Johnny depart for Homestead. Opponents of immigration have expressed concerns that by accepting unprecedented numbers of immigrants the country would rapidly alter its own ethnic character. A great insight into the divide between the rich and the poor, the American and the immigrant, the capitalist and the worker. Out of This Furnace, published in 1941 and re-issued by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1976, is his most well-known work. He begins his work career in America. Out of This Furnace is a story about human life from the perspective of three generations.