Jungle 5 Essay, Research Paper
The Jungle, a novel by Upton Sinclair, contained many unique characters which were used as color for this story. The character of Jurgis Rudkis was the strong central character that the author developed as the cornerstone of this novel. The story was based on the life Rudkis led in the town of Packington. The remaining characters in the story merely made appearances, and aided in the tale of Jurgis s experiences.
Mr. Rudkis, originally from Lithuania, was a strong, overpowering person. His initial appearance was during his wedding day in Packington. The celebration was delayed because of his family s desire to provide Jurgis and his bride with a wedding feast. This problem was happily solved and he eventually worked at various positions in the town. Jurgis, someone who believes in the value of hard work, was na ve in thinking that anything can be accomplished through the application of it.
Jurgis was forced to send his family to work in order to survive. He was horrified to discover how the meat packers, where he worked, took advantage of their employees. The workers at the plant had no benefits, worked long hours, and were paid poor wages. Jurgis decided to join a Union and took a stand on the issues with some other family members. For the first time in his life, he saw the corruption of a town and it s employers. His solution to most problems, I will work harder , no longer sustained him. He had believed hard work could conquer all, but found that it could not beat the corruption that spread like a cancer in this town.
Jurgis soon becomes injured at the plant and bed-ridden. Ironically, this was also a special time for him. He finally got to know his son and spent quality time with him. It was also a time of depression for Jurgis. He deteriorated and became a wreck of his old self. Eventually, he returned for work. He was arrested for beating Ona s boss, who raped her. His family, so important to him, fell apart. Most things that he worked so hard for were lost. His wife and two children died.
Jurgis reacted to his tragedies by living like a tramp. He turned to drink and the life of a beggar, landing in jail again. A life of crime in politics and theft followed. Jurgis could have risen to the top with the crooked life, but met Ona s rapist again and was arrested. He was basically a good, normal man. Soon he stood up against the injustice done to Ona. Jurgis met people from the Socialist party and became enlightened. When he joined the party a new man had been born. He now had friends and allies to help take up his cause. Jurgis eventually reunited with his family members and found a job. He conquered many demons in his life. Upton Sinclair made Jurgis a victim, but he overcame many tragedies and fought to become the victor. He battled the corporate business world, and social and moral problems in his life. This man came out on top because he was initially a decent, strong man. His many struggles led him in different paths, but finally he returned to the good person buried inside of him. Socialism, in this story, helped lead him back in the right direction. The story of Jurgis is a tragedy and also a triumph.
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