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The Great Fire Social Sensitivity

This Study Guide consists of approximately 13 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Great Fire.
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Murphy injects social commentary into his narrative throughout The Great Fire. He is clearly sympathetic to the O'Learys and their neighbors, all hard workers who were climbing the social ladder through long hours and mutual help. The O'Learys are presented as exemplars of the hard work that made Chicago a hive of activity. Both Catherine and Patrick O'Leary worked; their prosperity came from laboring side-by-side with one another. They were productive people whose labors added to the general wealth and welfare of the city. When they and many others of their economic level lost their homes, the blow to the city's economy must have been significant, but they tended to be vilified in the press. The O'Learys in particular were slandered, portrayed as drunkards and feeble-minded fools. Part of what Murphy attempts in The Great Fire is to set the record straight about the working people who...

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This section contains 163 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Great Fire Short Guide
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