The Jungle Upton Sinclair Summary – Political Fiction Novel

Before starting The Jungle Upton Sinclair Summary, let’s discuss the author Upton Sinclair who was born in September 20, 1878 and died November 25, 1968. He was a American writer and he wrote nearly 100 books. The Jungle play was originally published in February 26, 1906.

The Jungle Upton Sinclair Summary

This is a story about a Lithuanian family who moves to Chicago and works in the meatpacking industry in Packing town. Jurgis, an optimistic man, is set to marry Ona, a young and beautiful girl, but he first must find a job in the meatpacking plants, which receives thousands of cows and pigs each day that are slaughtered, butchered, and packaged for consumers across the world. Fortunately, because he is physically strong, Jurgis is hired very quickly and set to work cleaning up entrails. Marija, Ona’s cousin, finds a job as a can painter, and the rest of the family desperately searches for work to escape their terrible living conditions. The family is interested in buying a house and decide to pull all their money together to buy it, which they soon furnish with items on credit. Jurgis’ father, being old, has difficulty finding a job, but gets a job because he is willing to pay a cut of his salary to the boss. Although Jurgis’ spirit is high when he first starts his work, Jurgis soon begins to see that America is difficult to get ahead because of the shady working conditions and high turnover of workers.

Jurgis and Ona finally get married, but the wedding and feast ends up putting the family into further debt. When a neighbor shares the history of the neighborhood and terrible working conditions, the family realizes that they have to pay interest on the house each month, which forces Ona and Stanislovas, a young boy, to find work. As the working conditions become worse and worse, Jurgis’ father gets ill and dies. Winter brings about hard times on the community, as people die from illness and more and more people arrives looking for work. Marija meets a man named Tamoszius, who plays the violin, and the two want to get married. However, Marija loses her job as a can painter when the factory shuts down and Jurgis begins to realize that he’s earning less and less money at the plant because of how hourly wages are paid out.

The Jungle Upton Sinclair Summary

Jurgis gets recruited to become a citizen of the United Stated and vote for a certain candidate, which prompts Jurgis to become interested in politics and learn English. Jurgis also becomes aware of the political corruption in Chicago as a wealthy politician named Mike Scully is extremely powerful. Marija gets her job back, but loses it when she’s cheated out of her full pay. Ona gives birth to a baby boy, Antanas, but Jurgis can only see him on Sundays because of work. Jurgis sprains his ankle and is out of work, which creates more stress and worry for the family. After months of rest, Jurgis tries to find work, but can only find a job in the dreaded fertilizer factory.

Elzbieta, Ona’s stepmother, is forced to work in the sausage factory. As working conditions worsen for Jurgis, he starts to drink in the saloons. Ona is also pregnant again, which causes the family more grief. Ona begins not coming home night and when Jurgis investigates, Ona confesses that she’s been sleeping with her boss to save the family. Jurgis encounters the boss at work, biting him in the cheek. Jurgis is placed in jail, thinking about his family and how they will lose the house. When Jurgis’ court date arrives, the boss denies his involvement with Ona and Jurgis is sentenced to jail for thirty days and costs. Stanislovas visits Jurgis in jail to update him on what’s been going on, but all Jurgis can do is give him his remaining money as the family is out of work and starving. When Jurgis is released from jail, he returns home to see how the family is doing.

However, the house is painted a different color and has been sold to another family. Jurgis runs to a friend’s house and finds that Ona is in labor two months early. But because they can’t afford a doctor, she is having the baby in the home. With whatever money he can find, Jurgis calls on a midwife, but by the time she arrives, it’s too late and Ona and the newborn die.Jurgis begins drinking again and can’t find work in Packing town because he’s been blacklisted by all the bosses. Fortunately, he finds a job in the city at a machine shop, but then it suddenly closes down. With the help of a stranger, Jurgis gets a job in a steel factory, but must live away from the family for most of the week to save on traveling expenses. One day, when Jurgis returns home, he discovers that Antanas is dead from drowing. Jurgis takes off and becomes a tramp, living in the country and wandering from place to place. Eventually, Jurgis returns to the city and finds a job digging tunnels, but gets injured and returns to a life of begging. Jurgis runs into a wealthy young man who gives him a meal and a one hundred dollar bill, but when Jurgis tries to cash it in, he gets swindled by a bartender and is thrown in jail. Jurgis teams up with a man named Duane and enters the world of crime in Chicago by mugging people.

As Jurgis sees how corrupted the city is, he is given a special job by the Democrats to strategically help get a Republican elected by working and campaigning in Packingtown. The campaigning works and the Republican candidate wins as planned. When the union and meat packers try to negotiate, there is a strike in Packingtown, which Jurgis uses to his advantage by working and getting a promotion as a boss. The packers begin bringing in workers from around the country until the strike ends. However, when Jurgis runs into Ona’s old boss that took advantage of her, he beats him and is thrown in jail. Because the boss has connections, the situation is bad for Jurgis, but a friend bails him out and Jurgis runs away. Jurgis resorts to begging on the streets and bumps into an old friend who tells him where Marija is living. Jurgis visits Majira and realizes that she is a prostitute to support the rest of the family. However, Marija’s place gets raided and Jurgis is arrested with the rest of them.

After Jurgis is released, he stumbles into a socialist meeting and is inspired by the words of the speaker. Jurgis is introduced to a man named Ostrinski who explains the principles of socialism, which Jurgis begins to understand based on his experience in Packingtown. Jurgis finds a job as a porter at a hotel, and as time goes on, Jurgis becomes more and more involved in the socialist movement. In the end, as the upcoming election approaches, the Socialist party leaders grow more hopeful that their influence will continue to grow, especially in Chicago.

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The Jungle Book Characters Names

Jurgis Rudkus, Ona Rudkus, Marija Berczynskas, Elzbieta, Phil Connor

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