Out of This Furnaceis Thomas Bell's most compelling achievement. Read Online · Download PDF; Save; Cite this Item Victorian mausoleum of Captain Bill Jones, Andrew Carnegie's first steel-master, killed in a furnace accident in Get this from a library! Out of this furnace. [Thomas Bell]. Out of This Furnace is Thomas Bell's most compelling achievement. Its story of three generations of an immigrant Slovak family — the Dobrejcaks — still stands .
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The second generation is represented by Kracha's daughter, Mary, who married Mike Dobrejcak, a steel worker. Their decent lives, made desperate by the inhuman working conditions of the mills, were held together by the warm bonds of their family life, and Mike's political idealism set an example for the children.
Dobie Dobrejcak, the third generation, came of age in the s determined not to be sacrificed to the mills. His involvement in the successful unionization of the steel industry climaxed a half-century struggle to establish economic justice for the workers.
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. The writing is strong and forthright, and the novel builds constantly to its triumphantly human conclusion.
University of Pittsburgh Press Publication Date: He wanted desperately to be a writer. Their oldest daughter Mary grows up and marries Mike Dobrejcak , another Slovak immigrant who works with Kracha in the steel mills. Mary and Mike have four children before Mike is killed in a work accident. In the years that follow, worn down by illness and the stress of raising children on her own, Mary takes ill.
Out of This Furnace
A doctor arranges for her and three of her children to be housed in a sanitarium, an institution for treatment of the illness. Johnny, her oldest, grows to become an organizer in the labor movement, playing a role in the establishment and recognition of national workers' unions in America. Part 1: Kracha Part 1 of the novel begins in , when Djuro Kracha emigrates from Hungary in search of a better life.
He leaves behind his wife, Elena, a sister, and a widowed mother. On the boat trip to America, he foolishly spends nearly all of his money trying to impress a year-old married woman named Zuska Mihula. After seven days he joins his sister and brother-in-law, Francka and Andrej Sedlar.
Andrej helps Kracha get a job with the railroad, and he becomes fast friends with another railroad worker named Joe Dubik. Back in the "old country," Elena gives birth to his son, who dies of a fever. She joins him in America the following year.
She's depressed, listless, and frequently ill, and the marriage is not a happy one. Over time, however, she bears him three daughters: Mary, Alice, and Anna.
Kracha tires of the frequent relocation his railroad job requires and finds work at the steel mill in Homestead, Pennsylvania. Dubik and his wife, Dorta, have settled in nearby Braddock, and she takes in boarders to augment their income.
One of them is a young Slovak immigrant named Mike Dobrejcak, for whom Dorta develops a maternal affection. After a violent steelworkers' strike in Homestead, Kracha, Elena, and their children move to Braddock.
Out of This Furnace | Documents
Elena, like Dorta, begins taking in boarders. Dubik is killed in an explosion at work, leaving Dorta a widow.
After a time she remarries to a widower named Steve Radilla. Kracha, frustrated at his inability to get ahead while working for others, downloads a butcher shop and goes into business for himself. One day Zuska, whom he hasn't seen since his boat trip to America, enters his shop. She tells him that her husband died and she and her two sons are living in Braddock with her sister and her sister's husband. Kracha and Zuska begin an affair; after Elena dies and Zuska says she is pregnant, they marry.
Afterward Kracha's drinking spins out of control. He loses his home and his business, and Zuska disappears while he is in jail for beating her. He returns to work at the steel mill in Braddock, boarding at the home of a local widow.
Out of This Furnace Essay
His sister Francka and her husband, Andrej, take in his two youngest daughters, Alice and Anna. Mary moves in with a wealthy family, the Dexters, to work for them as a nursemaid to their young son.
He is 25 years old at this point and has been in America for 11 years. Although he has known her for years, something about her appearance that day prompts Mike to decide that she's the most beautiful woman he's ever seen.
The two fall in love and get married the following spring.
Out of This Furnace Summary & Study Guide Description
Print version: Bell, Thomas, Out of this furnace. Document, Fiction, Internet resource Document Type: Thomas Bell Find more information about: Thomas Bell.
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Rimrock Jones. The writing is strong and forthright, and the novel builds constantly to its triumphantly human conclusion. Copy to Clipboard.
An interactive data visualization of Out of This Furnace's plot and themes. In the summer, the economy worsens.