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FC: THE JUNGLE By: Upton Sinclair | THE JUNGLE | Upton Sinclair

1: PLOT | The Jungle tells the story of Jurgis and Ona, two Lithuanian immigrants who move to America with their family to start a better life. They move to Chicago, and soon find out that life in America is not everything they thought it would be. Living in Packingtown, the center of the meatpacking industry and Lithuanian immigration, working conditions are unbearable, along with the hours. Packingtown is full of crime and corruption, and jobs are extremely scarce. Going to work is a life-risking task, and the pay is barely enough to get by. Throughout the novel, Jurgis struggles with death, alcoholism, maintaining a steady job, and going to jail numerous times. His wife, two children, father, and other family members die, and Jurgis frequently finds himself abandoning his remaining family and going on binges. He also finds himself entering a life of crime after meeting a man named Jack Duane in jail. The two earn a good amount of money from mugging and stealing. Eventually, Jurgis finds inspiration in a Socialist rally. He is motivated to join the Socialist party after hearing an influential speech. This leads him to obtaining a good job, in which he reunites with one of his few long lost family members.

2: Main Characters | Jurgis Rudkus-in the beginning has faith in obtaining the "American Dream". He is energetic, devoted to his family, and optimistic about the move to America. This all changes once he finds out the cruelty of everyday life in Packingtown. | Ona Lukoszaite- innocent, young, and loyal to her family. She goes through a lot of struggle in America: she has two children, is raped by her boss, and dies midway through the story. | Teta Lukoszaite- Ona's stepmother, has six children and is an old woman. She is strong, hardworking, and committed. She is the strongest character in the novel and never experiences self corruption, unlike Jurgis.

3: Setting | The story takes place in Packingtown, Chicago. Packingtown is run by corruption and bribery, and is the known for it's meat packing industry, and is the center of Lithuanian immigration. Working conditions in Packingtown are horrible; hours are long and gruesome, factories are dirty and unsafe, and labor is unbearable. It is a Capitalist town, where the immigrants hold absolutely no authority.

4: Conflicts | A main conflict that is evident throughout the story is Jurgis and his families' struggles in maintaining steady jobs. Jurgis loses a number of jobs in the book, and is forced to find jobs in a time where they were scarce | The families' false hope in obtaining the American Dream is a major conflict. They believe that through hard work and determination, they will earn the money they deserve. They find that no matter how hard they work, the pay is minimum, and they soon lose their incentive to achieve what they set out to do.

5: Connections | the American Dream is the most evident connection I made between The Jungle and The Great Gatsby. | Gatsby had a strong desire for the American Dream. He had the money, which Jurgis and his family wanted, and Jurgis had his family and a wife, which Gatsby wanted. In essence, both characters desired each others' dreams.

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  • By: Jack S.
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  • Published: about 9 years ago