Summary Of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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1. Hopeless is the word that best describes the situation of the working-class in America in the early twentieth century. In this time period, people’s lives were controlled by their work. Unfortunately, the workers were paid very poorly. They were paid small wages to do large amounts of work in twelve to fifteen hour shifts. In Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Jurgis Rudkus assaulted his wife, Ona and her boss Phil Conner because Conner raped Ona. Due to this assault, he was put in jail for thirty days and was forced, “to leave three weak women and six helpless children to starve and freeze,” (Sinclair 167). With Jurgis in jail, the family lost its largest source of income. The family couldn’t afford the house and were evicted immediately. Job …show more content…

Jurgis Rudkus and his family were the victims of American society. When Jurgis and his family emigrated to America, they knew very little English. Due to their lack of English, they got taken advantage of when it came to buying their home. Jurgis and his family were promised a brand new home with top of the line utilities. Instead, they bought a home that was old and made out of cheap materials. They ended up signing a deed they could not read because it was in English. By doing this, they did not know that they had to, “pay them seven dollars… as well as the twelve dollars,” (Sinclair 74). Ona Rudkus went through so much to ensure a job for her and her family in the canning factory. After not returning one night, Ona tells Jurgis, “‘[Conner] told me – he would have turned me off. He told me he would – we would all of us lose our places,” (Sinclair 156). Ona became Conner’s mistress because she wanted to save her family’s job. She then gets a job in a prostitution ring to support her family. The Rudkus’ were forced to buy the worst quality of food because of their lack of money. The meat they bought was spoiled and diseased. They knew that either they had to take a chance with bad meat or die of starvation. Teta Elzbieta’s son, Kristofaras, died from eating sausage that was made with diseased pork. Kristofaras, “had begun to cry with pain and … he was rolling about on the floor in convulsions,” (Sinclair 132). Jurgis and his family would never want to be in this situation, but due to American society, they were forced to live a miserable

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