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Out of This Furnace Summary and Cliff.
Out of This Furnace tells a impressive story of a multigenerational family of Slovakian immigrants who comes to the United States in search of a better life in the New World. The patriarch of the Slovak family was Djuro Kracha, who arrived in the New World in the mid-1880s from the "old country." The story tells of his voyage, his work on the railroad to earn enough money to afford the walk to the steel mills of Pennsylvania, his rejection by the larger mainstream community as a "hunkey," and the lives of his daughter and grandson. As the members of this family become more generally acculturated and even Americanized, they come to resent the cruel treatment and the discrimination they suffer.
For the Kracha family, a slow rise to proud business ownership was ended by a series of events: (1) a summer of drunken abandon by Djuro; (2) his return to the steel mills (3) his daughter's (Mary) marriage to a fellow countryman also in the mills; and (4) his grandson's growing discontentment with unfair labor practices and abuses. These events in the Kracha family's lives become intertwined with the story of America's own transformation between the 1880s and the 1940s.
At the time that this family arrived in the United States, a new wave of Eastern European immigration - spurred by growing industrialization and the advances in technology leading to the establishment of steel mills and other manufacturing and raw material processing factories and plants - was reshaping the American labor force. Djuro's experiences, and those of his son-in-law, Mike Dobrejcak, reflect a certain level of hostility towards these Eastern and Central Europeans from "mainstream" Americans and earlier, more acculturated groups of immigrants including the Irish.
Certainly the lives of the Krachas were negatively affected by many stereotypical views and attributions. Those men and women had sought citizenship in America, Bell suggested, because of a des...
Out of This Furnace by Thomas Bell
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