The Jungle Essay, Research Paper
Upton Sinclair s novel The Jungle was a great influence over the countries decision to take notice into the food safety administration. Sinclair used a brilliant picture of the 1900 s. A somewhat frightful perception is used for the meat packing industry, political corruption, and fraud. The Jungle was one of the most discussed novels of the early twentieth century.
The Jungle opens with the wedding of a mighty shouldered, giant handed, individual by the name Jurgis Rudkus and his wife a mere child, Ona Lukoszaite. Ona s cousin Marija Berczynska, an orphan, who is a young woman of immense energy and a seemingly powerful body, along with Elzbieta Lukoszaite, Ona s stepmother, took care of the, veselija, or wedding feast. Marija paid a trio of fiddlers to play at the wedding reception. Tamoszius Kuszleika, an amateur violinist who eventually falls in love with Marija, led the trio of fiddlers. The trio played songs requested by the guests and they also serenade the bride. The main event of the evening, the acziavimas, is an event where each man dances with the bride and gives a gift of money to help pay for the feast. The older people meet the requests but the younger people however were not donating. Ona becomes sick with worry the expenses would not be met. The expenses were from the renting of the church, musicians, and the purchase of beer. While people continue to dance, Ona and Jurgis eventually leave, knowing they must go to work in the morning.
The next scene is a flashback of Jurgis s life in Lithuania and his meeting of Ona. Jurgis had little hope of marrying Ona because of her families wealth, but Ona s father dies and the family does not have much to support them. The family decides to move to Chicago when they had word the one of Jonas friends had moved there and had gotten rich. Once they arrived they met Jonas s friend, who operates a delicatessen. He found them a dirty four-room apartment to stay in.
Jurgis easily got a job at Brown s, a meat packing industry, with his size and strength. He was standing in a crowd waiting to be picked to receive one of the job openings. His size stood out in the crowd. They gave him the job of cutting the carcass open and tearing out the meat or basically just shoveling guts. Jurgis is satisfied with his new job.
The family decides they have saved enough money to try to buy a house. Jurgis did not get to go look at the new house because of work. The women of the family along with Jokubus went to look the house over. Elzbieta goes through with the sale, this angers Jurgis and he goes to talk to a lawyer himself. They later learn the house is not new, but five families had lived their before.
Jurgis became optimistic with his job. Jurgis learned of what was in the meat that they packed. As long as the owners were making money they did not care how contaminated the meat was. The meat was contaminated with everything from rats and insects to human parts. This was of no concern to Jurgis because he had a family to care for. One day the steer broke loose and everyone was running for their life to get out of the way. Jurgis jumped out of the way and landed badly on his ankle. He had a sharp pain, but he continued to work. When the workday was over he went to see a doctor where he found out he had pulled a tendon and would be out of work for three months.
When his ankle was finally healed he returned to work at Brown s to find out his job had been taken. After looking for a job he had to turn to his last option and accept a job at Durhan s Fertilizer Plant. During his hired time at this job he learns of some of the corruption of the great country. Ona had not been coming home every night. Her excuse was that she just could not make it home. He did not believe her. He eventually found out that she had been at her boss s house pleasing him in order to keep her job. Jurgis was overcome with anger. He went searching for her boss and beat him to the ground. This caused him to be sent to jail.
While in jail he realizes his family is starving and homeless, while he is being fed and housed. This is all on Christmas Eve. This begins his rebellion. His day in court came and he was sentenced to thirty days of imprisonment. He heads home to discover Ona in labor. The baby dies and Ona is diagnosed to be dying. Finally Ona dies at the age of eighteen.
Jurgis decided to leave his family and become a vagrant. Jurgis ran throughout the country begging and stealing every chance he got. Jurgis met a man that introduced him to a big political power. This was Jurgis s biggest opportunity ever. Things were finally looking up for him until he met Ona s boss again. He beat the man to the ground again. This ended Jurgis s strand of luck.
Jurgis became a vagrant a second time. He would go to political meetings just to have a warm, dry place to stay. One day he ran into a friend that was at his wedding feast. From her he learns of Marija s whereabouts, suddenly he becomes homesick and sets out to find her. He finds the police was raiding the large house she was staying which at the time. He the finds out that she is working as a prostitute. He was taken into the police station with the prostitutes. He was dismissed along with the other men and the women were fined. He returned to the house with Marija To discover she was addicted to morphine.
Tommy Hinds, a well-known socialist, hired Jurgis as a porter at a hotel. Several cattlemen came to the hotel short of money because of the packers manipulation. Hinds used Jurgis to acquaint them with true conditions in the yards. This helped Jurgis become a figure in the socialist movement. He attended conferences and told of the conditions and political corruption the yards. There was an upcoming election in which the socialist party received three times more support than in the previous. This made them all realize that they were setting an example in Chicago and they need to keep expanding for the working man s sake.
Upton Sinclair done a great job of showing several dilemmas this country had in the early twentieth century. He portrayed a poor Lithuanian family to show Americans these alarming flusters. He used the power of this book to help regulate the meat packing industry. Although The Jungle was a fictitious novel it caught Theodore Roosevelt s attention and he took notice. If it were not for The Jungle there is no telling when this great country would have cleaned up their food industries if ever.
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