FURNACES: VISIONS OF THE AMERICAN DREAM AND NIGHTMARE IN BRADDOCK

John C. Spurlock
2020 Folia linguistica et litteraria  
Two works of fiction, one a novel, the other a movie, provide a harrowing journey from the American Dream to the American nightmare. Appearing about 70 years apart, Out of this Furnace (by Thomas Bell) and Out of the Furnace (directed by Scott Cooper) closely examine the lives of steelworking families in Braddock, Pennsylvania. The novel shows the hopes and aspirations of Slovak immigrants slowly improving their material lot over three generations. The movie fast forwards through two more
more » ... ough two more generations to show Braddock in terminal decline, a victim of deindustrialization and all the social ills of America's economic inequality. Taken together these works reveal the arc of American economic development in the 20th century as experienced in the lives of those who experienced it most directly.
doi:10.31902/fll.31.2020.6 fatcat:skko5clxz5hebamr5p3gkhfhbi