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Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat’s “The Furnace” Is Structurally Flawed

In response to Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat’s 515‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Spirituality and Practice

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Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat offer the reader some touching and thought-provoking thoughts in the conclusion of their latest work, “Out of the Furnace,” but the majority of the review is plot summary and thin analysis.

The Furnace could have been improved with something for the reader to grasp on to at the beginning. For example, one might enjoy an opening question on spirituality and practice, or even just a clear argument about the film itself. The duo doesn’t seem to know what to do with the review.

The Brussats’ produce four average paragraphs of plot summary in The Furnace before transitioning to acknowledge director Scott Cooper and the film’s comparison to The Deer Hunter. Rather than expanding on both direction and the classic De Niro flick, the duo moves on once again. One learns nothing about Cooper’s techniques in the film, but just that he directed it.

In the concluding paragraphs of The Furnace, the duo states that “Casey Affleck and Christian Bale do convince us of the deep brotherly bond between Rodney and Russell,” but are unable to come up with any other original thought on the performances. It’s highly frustrating.

The heat is finally brought in the final paragraph of The Furnace, especially with a Mahatma Gandhi reference, however it all feels like a big tease. There is great potential in the work, but one can only hope that the Brussats can make a few structural changes for the future.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation