The Jungle Essay, Research Paper
The novel ‘ The Jungle’ by Upton Sinclair took place in the 1900’s the main character in this book is Jurgis Rudkis and his dynamic change to Socialism. He started out as a young and strong man looking for the “american dream.” He left Lithuania in hope of starting a family and a cordial Life. The beginning of this book starts at the wedding of Jurgis and Ona Lukoszaite which I believe symbolizes that they are starting a new life for themselves and it is starting out with happiness and a bond. They live in Packington their first day the get jobs quite easily still supporting the idea that things are going well. Jurgis was a hard working and good willed man in the beginning suprisingly he even liked his job at the killing beds. The conditions there were horrible, there was no concern for workers because if one would quit then the industries would go down to the docks and hire another immigrant who would work for nothing . That’ s where union’s came in but they were also corrupt and could be counterstriked by industries. So that’s where the Socialist Party came in and what I believe the central theme is. It was a worker’s political party a party that realized the only way to change things was to control the Government. I also believe this book was written for people to know about all the unjustice’s that were commited at this time through the money hungry politicians and industrial giant’s and how immigrants where exploited along with their families and used by the “system” of
waste and replace. Since there was such a steady flow of unskilled workers coming into the country employers didn’t have to worry about the needs of their workers. Jurgis and his family expierienced this world of unjustice drastically.
Eventually they get a house, which causes them all to get a job to afford it, but they can still manage. Antanas who is Jurgis’s father soon dies from tuberculosis. Winter comes and is hard for anyone who isn’t prepared the conditions at the yards is now at it’s worst so when juris is approached to join the union he doesn’t hesitate and soon the whole family is in the union. In the summer Ona is pregnant and names it Antanas after Jurgis’ father. Ona is forced to goto work without recovering because her income is needed. This takes a drastic toll on her health. Jurgis then sprains his ankle at work but, turns out to be a pulled tendon and keep him out of work for almost 3 months this was extremely hard on the family because he was a very critical income. During his time recovering he sees that everything is coming apart and him and his family might not make it. Ona has suffered a great deal from the weather and conditions at the plants. The following spring Jurgis is able to work again so he hunts for a job since his old one is lost because again the companies don’t care about their workers and if
they can’t make it to work cause they are hurt then the company claims no liability and finds someone to take your job. Kristofaros one of Elzbieta’s two crippled son dies of a bad sausage that he had eaten earlier in the day. Jurgis finally gets a job at a unhealthy and wretched fertilizer plant, he copes with this job by giving into drinking to help him forget about some of his problems.
Winter comes again and the all must work extremely hard because of the Holidays. After a snowstorm one day Ona doesn’t return home from work so in panic Jurgis goes out and looks for her but couldn’t find her so he waits at her job and when she returns the day he asks where she was and she said she couldn’t make it home in the weather so she stayed at a friends house and Jurgis understands and forgets about it. It happened again one day and Jurgis goes to the friends house but finds that she is not there and never was so he came home and demanded to know where she had been so she tells him Connor leader of the loading gang made her have an affair with him or all the women would lose their jobs. Enraged Jurgis finds Connor at the plant and attacks him which lead him to the police station he gets a 30 day sentence which is going to be terrible on the family. In Jail Jurgis meets a man named Jack Duane and gives him his address. Stanislovas
visits him in jail to get money and tell him of the news of the family all is bad. When he finally gets out he finds out that they lost the house and are staying in the attic of the widow Jukniene’s house. When he gets there Ona is in the middle of delivery and they send Jurgis out to get a midwife because they can not afford a doctor. He returns with the midwife and then leaves again to goto a saloon will Ona is giving birth when he returns he finds that the baby didn’t make it and Ona is dying. Jurgis can’t cope with her death and feels very lonely and I believe this is when his character starts to become dynamic in the morning he gets money and goes to the saloon. The next day he goes to look for a job and realizes he can’t get a job because he is now blacklisted. He then gets a job at harvester works after a week he loses the job he is at the point of giving up but he realizes he has a son and keeps going. He then gets a job at a steel mill, it’s very far away so he stay’s there during the week and comes home on the weekends. He gets hurt at his job and can’t work for several days which gives him a good time to spend with his son. He goes back to work and start making plans for the future, when one day he comes home and finds that Antanas has drowned in a puddle. I believe this is the climax of the story when
Jurgis feels how could society allow this to happen and how he has nothing left. When he stows away on a train he tries to leave his past behind he has nothing left and he doesn’t have to worry about anyone but himself now, which allows him to think clearly. He gets offf in the country and goes from farmhouse to farmhouse getting food and shelter during this time h is free to think freely and recover from his time in the city. When winter starts to approach he leaves the country and heads back to Chicago, he gets a job digging tunnels, he broke his arm a couple of weeks later and goes to the hospital when he gets out he lost the room he was renting and is once again out on the streets. After spending what little money he has at saloons. One day he was begging and met a rich man who was drunk and managed to get a hundred dollar bill by mistake but kept it anyway. When he tried to get change for it at a bar the bartender on gave him change for a dollar, the bartender wouldn’t give it back so Jurgis attacked which one again landed him in jail. He met Duane there again and decided to join Duane after his sentence because he doesn’t have a family to worry about anymore. While in jail he goes through a big change he sees the world as something different then what he used to see it as like there is isn’t
much hope and u have to do for yourself. Jurgis learns all about crime and schemes that are going on in the city, he goes along on some of them and makes money through robberies. He then gets a job trying to get people to vote for the republicans and buy votes which he did sucessfully. Jurgis still having the job at the packing plant goes to work as a scab during a strike he soon gets put in charge of the killing beds. One night he was drinking and he stumbled upon Connor he again attacked him and went to jail. He calls upon a friend to bail him out and finds out that Connor is good friends with Scully so he has to get out of town and he does. Giving his so called friend all his money to get out of jail Jurgis has no money left and wanders into a political rally for the socialist party for heat and shelter. Trying to stay awake so he won’t be kicked out, he fell asleep, and was kicked out from there he goes looking for Marji, Ona’s cousin. When he finds her it’s in a brothel and is raided by the police as soon as he gets there so he goes to the police station with Marji and while in jail he spends time thinking of the past tragedies and how he left his family behind. He appears in court the next day and is dismissed. They return the house and Marji tells him about her life now, that she is now addicted to morphine and is a prostitute while they eat lunch. After lunch Jurgis
goes to find Elzbieta. He can’t face her without a job though so he goes to the political hall that kicked him out before to think about the things that had happened and what Elzbieta would think about him leaving but he falls asleep again and is woken by a woman who tells him he should pay attention what the speaker was saying. He starts to listen to the speaker closely and finding himself agreeing with him. The speaker talks about the men, woman, and children that where exploited and used by industries and how his party the socialist will make sure this doesn’t happen again and again in the future. He reaches out to the blue-collar workers who made this society and have no voice in this city and society where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Jurgis felt like he was renewed in life and once again he believed his dreams could be met. After the meeting he goes searching for the speaker who he talks to for a little then is given to the speaker’s friend Ostrinski they go to his house and tell each other about their lives. Ostrinski explains the beliefs and goals of the socialist party to Jurgis very carefully he also learns about the Beef Trust and how it works in its corrupt ways and how the socialist party can stop them. He finally faces Elzbieta and explains to her the
socialists point of view. He then gets a job as a porter that he got from the owner of the hotel who is also an active socialist named Hinds. His hotel is the center of socialist actions and also the place where Jurgis learns about the socialist party. He starts reading the ‘Appeal to Reason’ a kind of political newspaper to discourage other political parties. He now also hands this weekly paper out.
He tries to get Marji to quit her job at the brothel but she wouldn’t listen so jurgis just forgets about it and he starts thinking about what changes he can make in his life for the better. Before the election Jurgis goes to an important meeting in which he was invited to, there was a magazine editor there who jurgis thought he would probably have to tell hi slife story as a working man to support socialist views. He goes and finds the main speakers are an evangelist named Lucas and the editor Schliemann they go on about what the socialist party believes in and how things should be, after the meeting Jurgis felt like a new beginning and the socialist’s barely lost in the election which was a huge victory for them and a loss for wage-slavery.