Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Thomas Bell's Out of This Furnace. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Out of This Furnace: Introduction
Out of This Furnace: Plot Summary
Out of This Furnace: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Out of This Furnace: Themes
Out of This Furnace: Quotes
Out of This Furnace: Characters
Out of This Furnace: Terms
Out of This Furnace: Symbols
Out of This Furnace: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Thomas Bell
Historical Context of Out of This Furnace
Other Books Related to Out of This Furnace
- Full Title: Out of This Furnace: A Novel of Immigrant Labor in America
- When Written: 1930s and early 1940s
- Where Written: New York City, United States
- When Published: Originally published in 1941 and re-issued in 1976
- Literary Period: Proletarian
- Genre: Historical novel, ethnic novel, realistic novel, family saga, proletarian literature
- Setting: Braddock, Pennsylvania, as well as other steel towns like Homestead.
- Climax: John “Dobie” Dobrejcak helps to organize the Braddock steelworkers into a union under the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)
- Antagonist: Capital, embodied by the Carnegie Steel Company/United States Steel Corporation.
- Point of View: Third person
Extra Credit for Out of This Furnace
In Real Life. Thomas Bell’s descriptions of the landscape in Braddock, Pennsylvania, are so exact that readers can use the detailed location of Mike Dobrejcak’s grave in the novel to find the gravestone of Bell’s own father, Mike Belejcak, in Braddock today.
Shrinking Suburb. Braddock is one of Pittsburgh’s oldest suburbs, but the process of deindustrialization in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s utterly hollowed out the city’s population. From a peak population of 20,879 in 1920, its current population now rests at only 2,189 today, a drop of 89 percent.