Life in the iron millspublished anonymously in the well-respected atlantic monthly under the editorship of james t fields in 1861 at the outbreak of the civil war, life in the iron mills, by rebecca harding davis (1831-1910), ushered in american literary realism and at the same time launched a pathbreaking exposé of the effects of capitalism and industrialization, including the physical. In rebecca harding davis's life in the iron-mills, what are the implications of the opening connection of slavery, the ohio river, and factory workers (430) and the descriptions of a drunk mulatto factory worker (431-32) and the tall mulatto girl slave that hugh wolfe sees from his prison window (448. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of life in the iron mills by rebecca harding davis rebecca harding davis's novella length short story life in the iron mills was initially published in the april 1861 issue of the atlantic monthly.
Hugh wolfe's the korl woman shocks kirby, mitchell, and doctor may in rebecca harding davis's life in the iron mills his statue differs from the variety of contemporary art in mid-19th century america. Analysis and discussion of characters in rebecca blaine harding's life in the iron mills hugh wolfe hugh wolfe, a nineteen-year-old iron mill furnace tender her love for hugh is the. Hugh wolfe, one of the novella's protagonists, is a 32-year-old furnace-tender in an iron mill in the american south hugh leads a dismal life of constant labor and terrible living conditions, and he has an overwhelming feeling of being stuck.
Life in the iron mills went against the cultural grain of what kinds of people and places were considered worthy of appearing in literature by focusing on an average industrial town and its workers the reader, used to conventional literature, is likely privileged. The only thing in hugh's life that allowed him to temporarily escape the nightmare that was his life, was his art one of his sculptures caught the attention of the owners of the iron mills it was a carving of a woman with the face, 'like that of a starving wolf' (929. Essay #1 on life in the iron mills by rebecca harding davis: examine class and gender et in the factory world of the nineteenth century life in the iron mills is a novella written by rebecca harding davis in 1861 it was first anonymously published in the well-respected atlantic monthly under the. In life in the iron mills, the realities of life in the industrial revolution was laid bare for readers to finally acknowledge hugh wolfe is found guilty of one transgression that ruins his life.
Life in the iron mills study play town is unnamed but based on weeling, virginia what is the name of the town where the story takes place hugh (kim) wolfe. This description certainly applies to hugh wolfe in life in the iron mills, as wolfe manages to rise above the oppressiveness of his environment to create in his sculptures things of strange beauty and profound meaning. A first-person narrator relates the story of ironworker hugh wolfe to an auditor the narrator lives in a house whose two cellar rooms thirty years earlier had been home to the wolfe family—hugh.
Life in the iron mills is a short story (or novella) written by rebecca harding davis in 1861, set in the factory world of the nineteenth century it is one of the earliest american realist works, and is an important text for those who study labor and women's issues. Life in the iron mills by: katrina ferreira and leah grannum fonts summary of text first person narrator who is in the middle class tells the story of iron worker hugh wolfe. Characters in life in the iron mills hugh wolfe, a furnace-tender at kirby & john's iron works old man wolfe, hughe's father, an immigrant from wales via cornwall in west england.
Hugh wolfe in life in the iron mills life in the iron mills is a short story by rebecca harding davis that tells us about industrial iron mill working life in the mid nineteenth century. In life in the iron mills, the two genres are blended to create a realistic depiction of the everyday life of iron mill worker hugh wolfe, as well as illustrate the effects of that environment upon him. My story is very simple,—only what i remember of the life of one of these men,—a furnace-tender in one of kirby & john's rolling-mills,—hugh wolfe you know the mills they took the great order for the lower virginia railroads there last winter run usually with about a thousand men.