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The Jungle

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The Jungle by Upton Sinclair Upton Sinclair's

The novel is set in Chicago in the area which hosts the largest slaughtering and meat packaging industry. Two young immigrants, Jurgis Rudkus and Ona Lukoszaite, from Lithuania come to the US in search of a better life.

Jurgis Rudkus is a young man who believes that with hard work and along with desire that he may be able to support his one love Ona. He comes to the US in hopes of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Ona Lukoszaite, she is a young and timid lady that comes to the country along with her husband not knowing what to expect and not prepare for the harsh life here in this country during the industrial time.

They two young immigrants Jurgis and Ona celebrate their marriage in a traditional peasant lifestyle. The couple is part of a large family that has the hopes of going to America for a better life. Jurgis here in this country begins to work hard and quickly realizes that no matter how hard and long he works he cannot earn enough to support his entire family. Soon after the whole family realizes in order to support themselves they must all begin to work. They buy a house which was sold them by an agent who takes advantage of them not understanding what they were signing. Jurgis soon finds out that all his hard work is in vain where many times corruption is rewarded, the capitalist life is just not fair. As they begin working, the family members discover the horrifying conditions of the packing factory. The conditions of work are inhuman, and the workers are treated inhuman. Jurgis' father is only able to get a job after bribing a boss in the pickling rooms of a meat packing plant. The conditions there are terrible, and the job ultimately kills the old man. Jurgis is injured on the job and is forced to stay home and out of work till he is healed. He has not worked for two months and when he returns back to work he realizes that his position has already been filled by another work. Jugis quickly realizes that with all his hard work he can easily be replaced by someone else. He soon finds a dreaded job to help out at the glue factory. The bills begin to pile up, his wife is pregnant and his family’s lives are being stressed with all the drama in their life. Things get worse as Jurgis finds out that his wife has been forced to have sex with her boss. Jurgis turns to drinking, in a rage he attacks his wife’s boss, Conner, and is arrested for battery. He spends a month in jail; during this time he meets Jack Duane, who is a suave and educated man who introduces Jurgis into the life of crime. Conner puts Jurgis on the blacklist and makes sure that everyone in the family looses their job. After a month Jugis gets out of jail and returns home realizing this everyone has lost their job. Ona is having a child and because of lack of money she does not received the proper care for herself and her unborn child. During labor they both sadly die, later his son downs and little by little the reminder of the family have either passed away or scatter in hopes for work. Jurgis travels the country site but as winter approaches he returns back to the city, the jungle. He becomes a beggar doing what ever he can to get money, he receives $100 dollar bill from Freddie Jones. Mr. Jones is the son of old rich man Jones. Jurgis takes his money to the local tavern to get change for the hundred dollars he is cheated in change and gets in an altercation with the bartender. Once again Jugis is arrested again; he turns to his old friend Jack Duane to enter into the life of crime. Now that he is alone and with no family



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