What role does the saloon play in Thomas Bell's Out of the Furnace?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The saloon, in Thomas Bell's Out of the Furnace, plays a very symbolic role. For characters such Kracha, an immigrant to America, the saloon represents (or functions as) one's financial success, or at least stability. This concept is illustrated by Kracha's comment on page 11. Kracha states that he needs some leather to fix his shoes, some gloves and a new shirt, tobacco and matches. All of this will cost him around one dollar and twenty-five cents. This will leave him with one dollar He states that no one is going to get him into a salon until he has what he needs. "After I buy what I need, then I buy myself a drink." 

This idea solidifies Kracha's good thinking. He realizes that he should not go into a saloon until he has taken care of the things he must take care of first. If he does not have any money left after taking care of his needs, he will not go into the saloon. It is only when he has money left over that he will spend it on his whiskey. 

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