The Iron Mills By Rebecca Harding Davis Essays

1426 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
In Life in the Iron Mills, Rebecca Harding Davis reveals a growing industrial America in the nineteenth century, where an unbelievable level of poverty and limited opportunities plague the people of the harsh world of the iron mills. Through the novella, Davis illustrates the quandary of impoverished mill workers, and is allowed to explore the experiences and inner-most selves nineteenth century women. Like many women of the age Hugh was bound to an existence less than he desired. Robbed of empowerment and the tools to afford themselves the opportunity due to lack of socio-economic resources and societal boundaries Davis’ characters live in hopelessness to escape their place in society, and never to be able to feed the hunger felt within. Life in the Iron Mills tells a story themed around being caged in one’s own life and the hopelessness of that destiny.
The difficulties of those who worked in the mills and factories, helping to evolve the economy and increasing wealth and of the country in the 1830’s, is an unrelenting focus of the story. As the narrator sets the scene, refers to "the terrible tragedy of their lives," and characterizes these lives as "a reality of soul-starvation, of living death" (Harding, 1111). The workers endure long hours of monotonous work for low pay. The female workers in the cotton mills receive even less pay. Some of the workers at the iron mill are homeless; forced to sleep at the mill on heaps of ash. Those who do have homes, live in…

Related Documents