Life in the Iron Mills

Topics: Realism, Short story, Fiction, Reality, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe / Pages: 8 (1793 words) / Published: Dec 3rd, 2012
“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. I feel the need to point out what James C. Austin missed out in his article “Success and Failure of Rebecca Harding Davis”. From my perspective from what Austin has written is that he is very shallow and surface level with what he has to say in relation to the short story. Yes Davis wrote a story showing the grim lives of the industrial workers in Americas Mills, which in one way shows realism, but nowhere in Austin’s article truly describes how she does that, and I in this essay will use articles from other journalists to show that she did so, I want to make say that his points have relevancy regarding Austin’s description of the setting, but that isn’t the purpose of the article, the purpose of the article is to show the pitfalls and achievements of Davis From reading Austin’s article he states these narrow minded claims “The story depicts in realistic detail the lot of mill workers whose only hope is in pitying God” (Davis 45). I agree with this statement that this story shows the lows of mill workers but realistically it is much deeper than that. There are many different traits that stood out to me, even religious assumptions that I will build up on, this helps the story develop, not just plot wise, but through Deborah and Hugh Wolfe. At the start of the short story Rebecca Harding Davis describes Deborah as a lady that has spiritual destitute, this from my perspective shows poverty in both lacking spirituality and economically. Harris 1989, “From Romanticism to Realism” addresses a good point that Austin missed, “Davis’s purpose in this narrative frame is to lure readers into this new form of fiction without alienation them before they decent into the lower realms” I agree with Harris this type of writing definitely caught my attention. It clearly shows Davis at her best, describing the setting in the first

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