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Word Count: 1,219
Out of this furnace Thomas Bell author of Out of This Furnace wrote a novel about immigrant labor in turn of the century America Bell grew up in Braddock Pennsylvania a steel town While this book is fiction Bell bases most of the hardships on those of his family In the late eighteenth century immigrants came to America in search of a better way of life Most immigrants only found hardship however and that is explained in Bells book in a very realistic way The newly industrialized America was willing to employ these immigrant workers They were willing due to the fact that the immigrants would work for lower pay and longer hours which was something the employers were looking for Most of these immigrants would get jobs in either the railroad or the steel mills Both of these jobs were very dangerous the latter being the most dangerous Men were forced to work for 12-24 hour a day work turns where they worked besides burning hot furnaces that sometimes would explode In Bells book he talks about how the men that worked in the mills had permanent sun burns on their face and arms even though they hardly ever got to be out in the sun they got them from the immense heat the furnaces produced As Bell talked about throughout the novel that these men would work horrendous hours and barely make enough to survive on their own let alone support a family Therefore with little pay to survive these workers barely had enough of the bare essentials Living conditions were often atrocious they never got enough sleep or to eat Throughout the book as well as describing the many hardships between wage and labor there was also a major emphasis on the many fights and strikes between the employers rich capitalists and the union workers One of the main characters Kracha worked in a mill owned by the richest man in the
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