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Thomas Bell’s Thoughts

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Essay title: Thomas Bell’s Thoughts

The way Thomas Bell lays out immigrant aspirations and life down, in front of the door of “American freedom”, in his book Out of This Furnace, is almost enough to make you wipe your feet off and join in on the adventure. This book is the story of consecutive generations of Slovakian immigrants and the trials and tribulations they faced in there optimistic dreams of a “new life” in America. Once they got to the United States they saw that it was going to be tougher than they thought to escape the hardships of finding a means of support and the difficulties of their poor quality livelihoods. Although the main characters in the story are white European immigrants, being referred to in the book as “Hunks”, they still go through the same low class standing and racism filled lives as any other foreigner that comes to America. Along with displaying immigrants fresh off the boat, the book also travels down the family tree to portray people born in America with Slovakian decent. The story starts off with Djuro Kracha arriving in New York from where he made way to Pennsylvania to look for work. He eventually found work on the railroads and then, in the Steel Mills. Kracha grew tired of steel mining and had aspirations of a better life for him and his family so he started a meat market business. The endeavor was a success but that went crashing down with poor money management. The second Generation is presented through Kracha’s daughter Mary and her steel worker husband, Mike Dobrejcak. Like many others, Mary and Mike Dobrejcak lives were affected greatly by horrendous working conditions but held together by loved ones and community spirit. Bell thirdly represented the next generation of Slovaks through Kracha’s grandson Johnny Dobrejcak who was involved in the organizing of a Union for the steel industry.

Although Thomas Bell wrote Out of this Furnace in 1941, the families in the story can still be incorporated into our lifestyles today. Each generation’s success, for the most part, is predicated on the previous generation’s success and failures. For instance, neither my father nor mother went to college. But my brother, sister and I have attended or now attend college universities. My generation was pushed into further education

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