Iron Mills ” Millworker
Peer‘s post ( In Rebecca Harding Davis’ story, “Life In The Iron Mills,” millworker Hugh Wolfe faithfully goes to his arduous job each night but endlessly longs for the opportunity to rise out of the working class. He yearns for the American dream, but although he is a hard worker, like most, he could use some help getting to that next level. Wolfe demonstrates boldness each night as he faithfully works at the art he loves, carving sculptures out of korl while enduring the insults and mocking of his fellow mill-men. One night, Hugh is visited by the mill-owner’s son, Clarke Kirby, and some of his friends, including a physician, Doctor May. As they admire one of his sculptures, a crouched woman with an apparent sense of longing on her face, Kirby asks Wolfe what she is longing for. Wolfe again shows his boldness and perhaps stupidity as he suggests the possibility that she longs for whisky, like Kirby, implying that Kirby is an alcoholic. “It mebbe. Summat to make her live, I think, -like you. Whiskey ull do it, in a way.” Making such a statement to the man who pays his wages certainly shows his fearlessness!
The conversation turns as Dr. May then shows his own boldness. He daringly suggests that Kirby take Wolfe under his wing and invest in fostering Wolfe’s sculpting talent. He knows that Wolfe has the potential to be a great artist and that Kirby has the resources to help make that dream a reality. Kirby, of course, refuses, only to be met with brazen criticism by Dr. May, who responds, “I think I remember reading the same words somewhere: -washing your hands in Eau de Cologne, and saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this man, See ye to it!” comparing Kirby’s treatment of Wolfe to Pontius Pilate’s forsaking of guilt in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Wolfe then asks May if he will help instead. Unfortunately, Dr. May also refuses, making an excuse that, although he wishes him the best, he does not have the money to do such a thing. To clear his guilty conscience, May goes home and prays that Wolfe, and the others, might have the power to rise out of their dire circumstances.
This story demonstrates that, although America grants the opportunity for many to rise out of their circumstances to better ones, it is sometimes impossible to do so without a helping hand. We should all make more of an effort to assist those struggling and do whatever we can to provide opportunities for them to improve their lives.)
answer based on peers post
Do you agree with your classmate’s perspective? Why or why not? Be specific. What is the most convincing part of your classmate’s post? Why?
Include at least one direct quote from the story to support your ideas.