Age of Iron
How we cite our quotes:
"You told me," I said, "that I should turn this house into a boardinghouse for students. Well, there are better things I could do with it. I could turn it into a haven for beggars. I could run a soup kitchen and a dormitory. But I don't. Why not? Because the spirit of charity has perished in this country. Because those who accept charity despise it, while those who give with a despairing heart. What is the point of charity when it does not go from heart to heart?" (1.122)
The sort of hate we see described in this quotation is a quiet, resentful kind. We can see it more as an absence of love and compassion – people don't want to help each other because they can't see any reason to. When they do help, they seem to do so against their will.
"What love will they be capable of? Their hearts are turning to stone before our eyes, and what do you say?" (2.98)
Mrs. Curren worries that kids these days are being bred in a culture of hate in which they can't love one another or feel any emotion.
Children of iron, I thought. Florence herself, too, not unlike iron. The age of iron. After which comes the age of bronze. How long, how long before the softer ages return in their cycle, the age of clay, the age of earth? A Spartan matron, iron-hearted, bearing warrior sons for the nation. "We are proud of them." We. Come home either with your shield or on your shield. (2.100)
Mrs. Curren sees the world she lives in getting populated by people with hard hearts. She wonders if people will ever feel more love than hate.