Ironweed Themes & Social Concerns

William Kennedy
This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ironweed.
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Several social concerns immediately visible in Ironweed involve Depression Era Albany as well as contemporary society. There is the corruption at the heart of urban politics which draws the protagonist, Francis Phelan, back to his native city in order to collect five dollars for each of the twenty-one times he registers to vote. There is the ideological clash between capitalistic management and labor unions, as when, in 1901, the young Francis, a fervid union supporter, threw a stone and killed a scab during the Albany trolley car strike, thus launching him on the first of his many flights to escape punishment. There is the plight of society's dropouts, derelicts whose only hope beckons from the depths of a bottle of dago red, a plight explored from the inside-out so that what many consider the dregs of humanity are no longer a faceless multitude but...

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This section contains 606 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ironweed Study Guide
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