Life in the Iron Mills Questions and Answers
by Rebecca Harding Davis

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Compare the korl woman of Rebecca Harding Davis' "Life in the Iron Mills" with the yearning felt in Emily Dickinson's poetry.

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In some ways the korl woman from Life in the Iron Mills can be thought of as a representation of the longing for "action" we find in Emily Dickinson's work.

The "korl woman" is a statue of a woman, "white, of giant proportions, crouching on the ground, her arms flung out in some wild gesture of warning."

Later it is described this way:

“There was not one line of beauty or grace in it: a nude woman's form, muscular, grown coarse with labor, the powerful limbs instinct with some one poignant longing. One idea: there it was in the tense, rigid muscles, the clutching hands, the wild, eager face, like that of a starving wolf's.” 

According to Wolfe, the sculptor/furnace operator, the woman...

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