Out of this Furnace: A Reflection on American Immigration

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Thomas Bell's Out of this Furnace is the story of a three generation struggle to find better lives in the United States.Beginning in the 1880s with thefirst generation and Djuro Kracha, it continues up until the 1930s with Dobie Dobrejcak's success in unionizing steel workers.Telling a riveting story, Bell's narrative weaves through the political, social, and economical history of immigrants, capitalism, and progress in America.But truly, Out of this Furnace aims to tell the true story of new immigrants to America and the experience of their lives upon their arrival.Out of this Furnace ultimately is the story of the people that not only survived, but worked hard to better themselves, in the squalor of the steel furnaces.The furnaces represented everything to them; the furnaces were why they had jobs, the reason they lived where they did, at times the cause of death, and always a dictator of social and economic conditions.Bell tells this story, showing the reader how the people are America's history and in this way Bell's novel becomes a historical document.Through the story of an immigrant family's experience in the United States through three generations, Bell illustrates the difficulties immigrants' had to face and how subsequent generations were able to, over time, move forward with more success.Thus Bell is depicting a much broader picture of how recent immigrants must often suffer and struggle and change their mindset to realize the opportunity America has to offer them.
The experience of the immigrant's family changed dramatically over the years, and Bell illustrates how one immigrant's family experience over three generations is defined by the shift in goals.Bell's story begins with thefirst generation immigrant, Djuro Kracha, who can't even make the journey to the United States without lapses in judgment.With little more than a day to day existe…