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Character Analysis: Out of This Furnace

5 Pages 1282 Words April 2019

I enjoyed reading Out of This Furnace because of its unique way of portraying working-class immigrants in America during the late 19th century and the following two generations. I was captivated at the similarities between the characters like George Kracha, Mike Dobrejcak, Mary Dobrejcak, and Doby Dobrejcak and their connection with my grandfather’s experience in the late 60’s after immigrating to America. To me, the major theme within this book is centered around generational hope After many years of being interested in my own grandfather’s experience being a Macedonian-American immigrant, I began to notice eerie connections between himself and the characters within OTF. Within the book, each generational character that is focused on builds on the prior knowledge/hope of their kin to become both Americanized and progressives in terms of labor conditions.
First introduced to the reader was George, a Slovak who immigrated to America in 1881 in search of a better life, going so far as leaving a young wife behind in Hungary (Bell 1). Initially, George is warned about immigrants being harmed in America. This was significant to learn about for me considering the historical relevance of new immigrants who were heavily discriminated against in America. There was a legitimate reason for George to be scared of the land, but he instead had a certain calmness and poise as if he had been there before. I was surprised at how well some people like George were able to anticipate what it was like overseas. Similarly, my grandfather spoke to me about the dangers of certain neighborhoods if you were an immigrant walking around. This helped my readings of the book come alive as I would at times imagine my grandfather trying to navigate in the new country.
There are times within George’s chapter where he advocates against the negative working conditions that exist around him. For example, after Dubik’s funeral, George says to his wife, “I’...

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