In 1883, the first carload of coal was transported from Tazewell County, Virginia, on the Norfolk and Western Railway. The railroad opened a gateway to the untouched coal beds of West Virginia. Towns were created as the region was transformed from an agricultural to industrial economy.(West Virginia Mine Wars) The lure of good wages and housing made the coal mining appealing to West Virginians, but all good things come at a price. In the novel Storming Heaven, Denise Giardina gives us an inside look at what really happened to the small town of Annedel, West Virginia. Whether the four characters that tell the story are fictional or based in part on actual events that took place, it hits home considering where we live. The story is based on four different perspectives of four citizens struggling to survive under the reign of a powerful coal company. I am sure anyone from this area has had a family or knows of someone who has worked in the mines. If you sit down and talk to these older people who worked in the mines they all have compelling tales of events that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Although each character delivers their powerful and moving account, I would like to focus on one individual and his struggle to organize the miners. Rondal Lloyd struggled most of his life, he knew the coal mines first hand when he had to leave school to help his dad work in the mines to pay off debt to the company store. Unfortunately, this was common back in the times that this story is based upon. In West Virginia as far back as 1901 there are archives that have tried to set some sort of standards for child labor, but we must remember that these children grew up hard and fast. (West Virginia Mine War...
... middle of paper ...
...g to have a baby, and despite his situation Rondal ultimately becomes at peace with his life. In the end he dies, but he will rest on the mountain side where Carrie “walks past the cemetery where Rondal would at last have a place of his own.” (Giardina 290) This brings back a story that I read “How Much Land Does One Man Need”. In the end like everybody else Rondal will leave a legacy and it won’t be how much how owned but how much he loved and how much he gave of himself to others.
Giardina, Denise. Storming Heaven. New York: The Random House Publishing Group, 1988.
Norris, Ed. Personal Interview. 20 Mar 2014.
"West Virginia Mine Wars." West Virginia Division of Culture and History. West Virginia
Archives and History, 01 Jan 2014. Web. 23 Mar 2014.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Storming Heaven is Denise Giardina’s second and award winning novel, published in 1987. The historical novel is a fiction-based recount of the bitter labor conflict that took place in southern West Virginia during the early 1920s, otherwise known as the West Virginia Coal Wars. The author tells the story of the real conflict faced by miners through the eyes of four main characters, each from different walks of life, with their own different point of view. The story told about the real life hardship faced by coal miners and the ensuing conflict is a subject narrowly covered by The American Journey.... [tags: labor conflict, union activist]
1050 words (3 pages)
- In the book Storming Heaven by Denise Giardina, education, and the lack there of, plays one of the largest roles in the character's lives. At this time in West Virginia, where the book is set, many children had to leave school and actually go into the coalmines, as Rondal Lloyd did, or work on the family farm. Racial ignorance is also a key element Giardina confronts in the novel. The characters, chief and secondary, equally cultural and racially bland, pass on their beliefs and therefore help to maintain the continuous circle of inequality that carries on even today.... [tags: American Literature]
723 words (2.1 pages)
- Unions have always been a pain in employers’ sides. From today to the 1910s, workers have tried to unionize for better conditions in their jobs. Today, people try to opt out of being in unions, avoiding the union’s dues but still reaping the rewards. That’s a long way away from what people experienced in the 1910s. During that time period, people were struggling to even be apart of a union. Some people would even risk their jobs to do it. In fact, the first worker’s strike was was during the the West Virginia Coal Wars.... [tags: Coal mining, Coal, Anthracite]
955 words (2.7 pages)
- Coal has been the primary source of energy for the United States for quite a long time. In 2014 it accounted for 39% of the total energy produced by our nation, and in 2003, 92% of all coal was used for energy production. The US is currently heavily invested in the coal industry, and finding an alternative energy source would be an arduous process. Unfortunately though, coal is a nonrenewable resource, and it greatly affects our ecosystem negatively. Coal mining is the leading contributor to the human-made increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.... [tags: Coal, Natural gas, Mining, Coal mining]
706 words (2 pages)
- Communities where coal mining exists tend to have great advantages, but there are always disadvantages with those benefits. Coal mining is a great energy source suppling about 30% of the entire energy needs over the world, producing 40% of electricity. Where there is coal, there are jobs, roughly 130,000 people are employed in the coal industry. As the demand for coal continues to rise, employment will also increase, raising employment rates. Coal mining is practiced because it is an inexpensive source of energy.... [tags: Coal, Oxygen, Sulfur, Oxide]
1156 words (3.3 pages)
- Living in Eastern Kentucky, a region that relies heavily on the coal industry, most find the dispute about coal senseless. Majority argues that coal is a major cause of the pollution within our country. However, coal is a beneficial resource; coal generates electricity. Consider the well-known saying, "Coal Keeps the Lights On." I believe when people are against coal and feel that it is too dangerous for our families or communities, they need to look at where we would be without coal. In my hometown there are numerous families supported by coal.... [tags: coal mining industry]
964 words (2.8 pages)
- West Virginia is a land of natural beauty. Often described as “wild and wonderful,” the state’s fall foliage, scenic rivers, and abundant wildlife inspired the composition of a ballad. The song, “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” portrays West Virginia as “almost Heaven,” and the phrase is difficult to refute (Danoff, Denver, & Nivert, 1971). According to the West Virginia Department of Commerce (2009), the state ranks among the lowest in the nation for the cost of living, the employee turnover rate, average home prices, and instances of violent crime.... [tags: Energy ]
1078 words (3.1 pages)
- Clean Coal and Its Potential With the United States' increasing addiction for petroleum and imported energy, many organizations have begun to pressure government agencies to consider cleaner methods for fuel. As evident from recent government spending, the current administration favors the generation of electricity through a fossil fuel abundant in the United States; coal. Though coal is widely seen as a cheap source of energy, it contains many drawbacks: it’s emissions. Clean coal alternatives are available and they appear to have a promising future in the world of non-renewable energy.... [tags: Energy Coal Fuel Essays Papers]
1011 words (2.9 pages)
- Coal Fires I’ve long been familiar with the concept of coal mines, but a common occurrence I was unfamiliar with previous to this class was the concept of coal mine fires, but it is a huge problem, both economically and environmentally. Perhaps the most infamous American example of a coal mine fire is Centralia, a town in the anthracite region of eastern Pennsylvania. Centralia was like any other coal town until one fateful day in 1962, when a heap of burning trash in a dump that doubled as a mine stripping pit quickly spread to other parts of the mine.... [tags: Fire Coal Mining Essays]
718 words (2.1 pages)
- Coal Coal, a product of decay from plants older than 350 million years, is an integral part of energy production in the United States. Coal provides 56.9% of electricity generation in the United States. With many different types of coal found in different states, the U.S. remains second to Russia in the number of estimated worldwide coal reserves. Between the years of 1885-1950, coal was the most important fuel. One half ton of coal produced as much energy as two tons of wood and at half the cost. Even today, there is, on a Btu basis, about one hundred times as much energy in the coal reserves of the United States as there is in either the oil or natural gas reserves.... [tags: Coal Environment Economy Economics Essays]
654 words (1.9 pages)
- Grief For Allie in The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger
- How Does Moniza Alvi Explore The Concept of Identity in An Unknown Girl?
- The Department of Psychology at State University
- The Merchant of Venice by Williams Shakespeare
- Seeking a Martian Time Synchronization
- Do Animals Deserve to be Tested on?