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Hidden Narrator of Life in the Iron Mills

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jca569
Words 416
Pages 2
Jessica Puckett
Professor White
ENG 231Section 0051
October 10, 2012
Hidden Narrator of Life in the Iron Mills Of all the characters in “Life in the Iron Mills,” Mitchell is the one that fits the bill of being the story’s unpronounced narrator. The story being told happened 30 years earlier, and Mitchell at that time had been described as a young man and stranger to the city (Davis 1714). Knowing that he was young back then, would now make him of the age where he would be established and free enough to do anything he desired.
Upon being introduced he was said to be “spending a couple of months in the borders of a Slave State, to study the institutions of the South,” (Davis 1715) as well as being a reader of “Kant, Novalis, Humboldt,” (Davis 1715) which implied that he was a man with an education. The second half of the story was due to “a check for an incredible amount” (Davis 1722) that was taken from Mitchell, evidence that he was not only educated but wealthy as well. The Korl Woman was the basis for a moral debate between the men visiting the mill, starting with what her facial expression meant. It was said of Mitchell that the figure of the Korl Woman had touched him strangely (Davis 1716). Hugh himself could tell that Mitchell had caught the deeper meaning of the statue (Davis 1717). Being the brother-in-law of Kirby, there would have been a way to access and retrieve said statue from the mill. The area surrounding the mill being the place where a profound epiphany took place that changed Mitchell from “raised on the milk of the Word” (Davis 1718) and idly scoffing at Hugh’s pain, (Davis 1720) to leaving the mill and “touching his hat, as to an equal, with a quiet look of thorough recognition” (Davis 1720) at Hugh. Mitchell went to visit Hugh in jail even after having been the one robbed of a check of a significant amount, and talked to him for more than an hour (Davis 1726). That epiphany could very well have formed the basis as to why Mitchell returned to the area after 30 years. Returning to the place where it all began, with what and whom it began.

Works Cited
Davis, Rebecca Harding. “Life in the Iron Mills.” The Norton Anthology American Literature. Vol. B. 8th ed. Nina Baym. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. 1714-1726. Print.…...

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