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

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What is the purpose of the rhetorical questions in the story, "Life in the Iron Mills"?

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In this novella, the author is trying to depict for us the difficulties of working class life.  She is trying use the story to scold the upper classes for the ways in which they are treating their workers.  This means that she is trying to appeal to the upper classes (who are the main ones reading books for leisure in her time) on an emotional level.  This is the purpose of the rhetorical questions -- to help her engage this audience.

Teachers are encouraged to ask students questions that will get them to think as they listen to a lecture or...

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