Metaphysics substance, cause, form, potentiality Nicomachean Ethics soul, happiness, virtue, friendship Eudemain Ethics Politics best states, utopias, constitutions, revolutions Rhetoric elements of forensic and political debate Poetics tragedy, epic poetry 3.
The narrator lives in a house whose two cellar rooms thirty years earlier had been home to the Wolfe family—Hugh, his father, and his cousin Deborah. Deborah returns home after a twelve-hour shift at the cotton mill and prepares to eat a supper of cold boiled potatoes.
She learns that Hugh is still working, and she gathers bread, salt pork, and her share of ale to take to him, walking through hellish scenes of smoke and flame at the iron mills to deliver his meal.
Although Hugh is not hungry, he eats to please Deborah. Taking pity on her, he suggests that she sleep on the nearby ash heap. Deborah loves Hugh but also acknowledges that he is repulsed by her hunchback.
An outsider among the ironworkers, the artistic Hugh feels compelled to create; his passion prompts him to sculpt. Before the midnight shutdown, a group of affluent men survey the ironworks, discussing the heat and the rough-looking workers.
The visitors see a large sculpture of a woman, carved from what the workers call korl, the material that remains after the iron ore is smelted. They call Hugh over to ask what emotion he intended to portray with the sculpture. He replies that the figure is hungry not for meat, but for life. One suggests that Hugh can make of himself anything he chooses.
Although Hugh initially intends to return the money, as he wanders the streets in search of the man, he begins to envision the possibilities of a different life offered by the stolen money.
For the first time in his life, he becomes aware of the power of money and yearns for the freedom to create. Unaffected by a sermon he happens on, Hugh yields to temptation.
He is eventually arrested, convicted of grand larceny, and sentenced to nineteen years in prison.
Also prosecuted, Deborah receives a three-year term. Having begged to see Hugh in jail, Deborah tells him that she is responsible for their plight, but her actions were prompted by love. She pleads with him not to die.
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Observing the contrast between his cell and the bustling marketplace below, Hugh ponders what his life might have been.
He suddenly calls out to a passer-by on the street and slashes his veins with a piece of tin. Arms outstretched, Hugh feels stillness creeping over him, and he dies. After leaving the prison, Deborah lives a pure and loving life among the Friends.
At the close of his story, the narrator draws back a curtain, revealing the korl statue. The woman seems to hold out her arms as dawn breaks.Learn more about how Principal can help you plan for whatever events, milestones, or changes happen in your life.
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