Blood on the Forge

1163 words 5 pages
Bryan Casallo
Dr. Bailey
April 17, y

Blood on the Forge
Book Review

“Steel is born in the flames and sent out to live and grow old. It comes back to the flames and has a new birth. But no one man could calculate its beginning or end. It would end when the earth ended. It seemed deathless.” (302) Blood on the Forge, by William Attaway, illustrates one of the most important historical event in United States history, The Great Migration. Attaway sets Blood on the Forge in the midst of the Steel Valley in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1919’s. We accompany the Moss brothers in the Blood on the Forge as they face a world filled with emptiness, hunger, inequality and the obstacles they encounter in an unforgiving world. The Moss
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At night the devastating new world in which they lived was filled with drunkards, dogfights, prostitution and gambling is highlighted throughout the story. Attaway confronts the realities of this time period and using the never ending flames of the furnace and the continued blasting pots as metaphors of the apocalyptic society. The novel seeks to convey the importance of the historical period, the growing collective mass of different ethnicity and the change of the rural and urban lifestyle. During the time period in which the story is set is known as the Great Migration, it was a period in which there was an influx number of people moving the the rural area of the south to the urban area of the north. One of the reasons the Moss brothers moved up north is because of the opportunity of making more money, just as Melody said; “Must be a lot of that kind of up-North money.” (77) The different ethnic groups of this time period also contributes to how different the social community of the steel mills. The steel mills in which the Moss brothers worked mostly consisted of Irish, Italians, blacks and Mexicans. This goes to show the increasing diversity in the workforce. Blood on the Forge has been viewed by people as being a “novel portraying life in the raw.” (Drake de Kay) Attaway is able to create a surreal world that displays the inequality that people faced, as well