“He did not go very far round the corner he gave out completely, and sat down on the steps of a saloon, and hid his face in his hands, and shook all over with dry, racking sobs.” Ch. 8
In my very first Reading Journal for the Jungle, I chose to talk about Self- Advocacy. I went into more depth about perserverence and how every single person in the story had shown that. They worked for that ideal "America Dream". Although life was tough, with terrible working conditions and little pay, they continued in their optimism and kept their culture alive.
At this point in the story, not only Jurgis, but all of Industrial America is digressing in drive and the original dream of greatness. They are focusing on quantitiy, not quality. The products are coming not from American pride, but from the need for American productivity. When you give the workers an environment where they can thrive and be proud of what they are doing and what they stand for, you have the potential for an endless cycle of happy people, great effort, and great products. But when you take the shortcuts and create something that is litterally poisonous, you get nothing in return. Well, no. You do not get nothing. You get people who give up. People who don't presevere. People who are not Self-Advocates.
Jurgis at this point is almost at rock bottom. He has gotten into jail, his family is ill, and he has lost his house. Life is happening around him, but he can't catch up. Really, perseverence is the only thing that will let him live.
I think this is a very good point you bring up. The people who migrated to America in search of the "American Dream", but slowly that dream gets replaced with need for making money.
You expanded out of Jurgis's point of view and onto the others in the story. You also make an excellent point on the events that are happening in the story and how it relates to the real world (ex: "You do not get nothing. You get people who give up...").
This is a really good journal and you connect to selv advocacy really well!
Great post, Paris! Your observations about company's focus of quantity over quality were very observant and can (unfortunately) be applied to many areas of business today.
I completely agree with what you are saying, Jurgis is definitely at rock bottom and the thing that is keeping him going is sort a routine, allowing him to get through the day.
Wow Paris this is great I really like the way you wrote about perspective.
This is a great post:) The phrase you used "...quantitiy, not quality." I think really represents what is happening in the story and what the company wants and how the workers are working.
Great post, I like how you connect to a previous statement you've made and completely agree with you.
I love how you brought this point up. God job. I like the "quantity not quality "
“They strolled here and there about the courtyard, and Jurgis listened to them. He was ignorant and they were wise; they had been everywhere and tried everything. They could tell the whole hateful story of it, set forth the inner soul in a city in which justice and honor, women's bodies and men's souls, were for sale in the market-place, and human beings writhed and fought and fell upon each other like wolves in a pit; in which lusts were raging fires, and men were fuel, and humanity was festering and stewing and wallowing in its own corruption... They were swindlers and thieves of pennies and dimes, and they had been trapped and put out of the way by the swindlers and thieves of millions of dollars.”
Integrity: The definition of integrity is moral uprightness, and I think that is something that Jurgis is beginning to understand. The entire society of Packingtown is full of corruption and liars, and even though he was sent to gaol he maintained his sense of justice. The men who are the most corrupt, such as Connor, Ona's boss, are the ones who control what justice is or have the monetary power to bend the will of those who do. Jurgis realises that society is full of injustice and wrongs, and the people who commit the worst of these wrongs are not the petty criminals that are boxed away in a secluded part of town. The real criminals are the men who, in their wealth and power, lock away all those who take away from what they want. When Jurgis attacked Connor, he was following his own sense of justice against the man who threatened and manipulated his wife, not what the high-ranking businessmen would consider just.
I agree with your analysis on Jurgis's character development. And what you said about criminals and personal justice is completely true as well! What something evil could be to one person, could be great to another.
Wow, Bell! Beautiful thoughts. It makes me think about what Mrs. Clark was talking about in a lecture a few weeks ago. Our class talked about how the leaders and politicians got to where they were because of the money and opportunities it brought them. It is unfortunate to think that those people in the book who are in power don't neccessarily have the best intentions. And those that have the smartest and kindest ideas have no real way of getting themselves heard and they can't make a huge difference -- like Jurgis.
Excellent post, Bella! You made wonderful observations on the important role of integrity that is present throughout the novel. I enjoyed your note on how the prison is being used to house those whose crimes were relatively petty to those who are the corrupt figureheads of the industrial corporations.
I really love the quote you chose, it's very powerful in its descriptions and the intense feelings it provokes. I also agree with your assessment of the way the society worked and the way Jurgis felt about it.
I think you had a great reflection on what was going on in the book, and just how terrible the corruption has become. Thats what really strikes me the most about this book, just how morally wrong most of the population is.
When I was reading this paragraph, these thought had never passed my mind and you make some really interesting points. I love how you say that Jurgis was following his own justice when attacking Connor.
"He subsided, but he never took his eyes off his enemy. The fellow was still alive, which was a disappointment, in one way; and yet it was pleasant to see him, all in penitential plasters. He and the company lawyer, who was with him, came and took seats within the judge's railing; and a minute later the clerk called Jurgis' name, and the policeman jerked him to his feet and led him before the bar, gripping him tightly by the arm, lest he should spring upon the boss." - Chapter 14, page 4
Perspective: Taking Jurgis's point of view, this shows that these passed few chapters are definitely going down the wrong ally for him, especially in this quote. Previous to what is stated above for Jurgis, he got into a fight with a man named Connor to the point of "killing" him. Fortunately but unfortunately, the man survived and is now standing in front of Jurgis, probably feeling angry, vengeful, and more. As he hears the judge's accusations and agrees with them, Jurgis starts to believe this is what true fear is. Didn't this just all start out as an average couple going to a different country to live a better life? How did it all get to this? How did it even get to the point of such a battle? Sure working in the meat factories aren't the best jobs, and he may have encountered some rude people here and there, but this? Here he is, reflecting on all that's happened since changing the ways he wanted to live his life and how all of this threw him back to square one, rock bottom, in the dust, hopeless, anything but satisfying. What about Ona? The family? Their future? Him?
"Ever been arrested before?" That sentence broke the last leg and now the reader/him/me/you can get the idea of what's to come next.
Brianna, I think it is great that you asked all of the questions. It shows where Jurgis is coming from. But also, it makes the reader think about more perspectives for themselves. Also very neat how you summarized, yet put your analysis in at the same time. Well done :)
Great post! I agree with Paris on asking a whole bunch of questions. It can open up your mind more about the book and find an even deeper meaning!
I think it is very descriptive and cool how you added many questions. it really shows how you feel about the book and what things you notice going on.
I think it is great how you have so many open ended questions. They all really get me thinking.
"It was all--it was their plot--Miss Henderson's plot. She hated me. And he--he wanted me. He used to speak to me--out on the platform. Then he began to--to make love to me. He offered me money. He begged me--he said he loved me. Then he threatened me. He knew all about us, he knew we would starve. He knew your boss--he knew Marija's. He would hound us to death, he said--then he said if I would--if I--we would all of us be sure of work--always. Then one day he caught hold of me--he would not let go--he--he--"
The HOHAM that I found to be appropriate for the reading is Integrity. This is the beginning of when Jurgis starts to lose his family, home and dignity. His wife get's rapped and harassed by her boss, Connor, and Jurgis takes his anger out, by strangling him. He is then sent to Jail, and is trialled with a $300 fine. When he told the Judge the truth, he still pleaded guilty, and he felt that the trial was completely unfair, because of Connors lies that were told to the Judge. This is an example of how Jurgis feels that society is a lie, and life isn't fair. He served the next 30 days in prison, and when he gets set free, he is still forced to pay the $300 fine. His family goes corrupt and lives in the boarding house where they started. This is another example of how integrity had taken over Jurgis's life, and family.
I like how your journal reflects on Jurgis's life and connects with integrity but maybe try to relate to the quote a bit more?
“I know not whether Laws be right, Or whether laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol Is that the wall is strong . And they do well to hide their hell, For in it things are done That son of god nor son of Man Ever should look upon.”
Connection: It is truly sad seeing what has happened to jurgis and his wife. It almost seems right that he took revenge against the boss for raping his wife in the factory, and forcing her to marry him. And being sent to jail for this even though his boss should be guilty is truly the sad part. In his poem, he states that he doesn’t know what laws are right or wrong, and that whoever is sentenced is surely not deserving of it. This connects to the fact that he doesn’t know whether what he does is right or not. But the fact that people were treated like this back then, makes all who rebel the wrong. And this is sad that innocent people had to suffer for others sins. I don’t think that’s fair for this to happen to Jurgis, and his boss should be the one who is blamed!
“‘You would have done well to think about them before you committed the assault,’ said the judge, dryly, as he turned to look at the next prisoner.” Page 175 (Barnes & Noble Classics Edition), a bit over halfway through Chapter 17.
Significance/Supposition: The quote is said by the judge to Jurgis during his sentencing, the judge is referring to Jurgis’ comment about how he cannot serve his sentence in jail because he has a family to provide for and that they would starve without him. I think the situation described in the quote is a perfect example for the use of supposition. The moment when Jurgis attacked Connor was a moment of great importance. Due to the assault, Jurgis lost his house and Ona had to birth her second child without the assistance of a doctor. I think that from Jurgis’ actions, we can all realize that it is wise to not act upon thoughts influenced by anger or similar emotions. Jurgis’ life would be very different had he thought through what happened to Ona and if he acted level-headed.
Impressive post Gage! You really explained the situation and your opinion of it. I wish he acted level-headed as well.
"...a duty which he performed faithfully, but which most of the prisoners were accustomed to shirk, until their cells became so filthy that the guards interposed."
The HOHAM I chose for this quote is Self Advocacy because Jurgis, even in this terrible situation, still was looking out for himself and his health, a thing which most of the people around him do not do. Jurgis always seems to do his job, his duty, and what he is told to do (in a good way). He is a wonderful self advocate and he will not let himself fall into disarray even while he is in prison. I admire this aspect of him as I don't think I would do the same were I in his situation. I would probably just sit around weeping or something useless like that and be entirely unhelpful, probably getting myself killed.
I really like how talked about what Jurgis did verse how you might have acted in the situation.
I thought self advocacy was a good HOHAM to choose because it so adequately sums up Jurgis' determination to survive. Nice reflection!
I like how you were so honest about what you would probably do in that situation.
"it was like having weights piled upon him, one after another, crushing the life out of him." Chapter 17
Integrity: In the beginning Jurgis was filled with integrity, he always tried to do good and to support his family. But all of his integrity was taken when he was locked in jail, there was nothing he could do in order to help his family. Many people can relate to this, that time when you want to help someone or something but your helpless. If you want to ever get something done you need to have integrity and hope. When it's something or someone you deeply care about you will do almost anything, like when Jurgis gave his last fourteen cents in order to help his family in any way he could.
I really like the relation you added to the present day scenarios, it's true. Your quote related well to the overall feeling of the passages and also to your analysis.
I like how you brought back that in the begging of the story he had integrity and you are connecting it to how Jurgis is now. Nice post:)
It's a really great point you make about how in the beginning of the book he was really trying to do the right thing and now he is so helpless. There is almost nothing he can do anymore.
I think that you chose a very meaningful quote that really shows the desperation of the family. This also shows Jurgis' unfailing integrity very nicely. Excellent work!
I really like how you related this to real-life. Jurgis was really filled with integrity based on the story. good job!
"They put him in a place where the snow could not beat in, where the cold could not eat through his bones; they brought him food and drink-why, in the name of heaven, if they must punish him, did they not put his family in jail and leave him outside-why could they find no better way to punish him than to leave three weak women and six helpless children to starve and freeze? Through out this reading, I find myself using Perspective a lot. I do this, because I always try to put myself in perspective to Jurgis, and his family's life. I always just think how much America has changed in such a short period of time. But what I think is really interesting is that we still have some of these things going on in America, so my question is when do you think this will stop, and what can we do to change it.
I like how you tried to get into Jurgis' character and mindset while reading. It might even help better understand the character and scenarios. The quote you chose was a beautiful choice and I like the relation you used towards the end. :)
Which problems do you believe are still prevalent in America today. To answer the question, I believe that as long as you live in a capitalistic society these issues will always persist. This can mean people either have to accept the problems as being permanent, or socialize their economy/society.
"Jurgis could see all the truth now-could see himself through the whole long course of events, the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him; of fiends that had racked and tortured him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face."
Perspective: Jurgis is no longer just a man who drinks his life away and mindlessly works in order for him and his family to survive another day. Jurgis is a man who has become completely aware of the wrongs that have been happening and has finally let the full impact of his situation into his mind. It's no longer a working world to him, it is a torterous, slaving world that pierces human spirits with it's claws, drags them in, sucks them dry with it's fangs, and then spits them back out into the streets with all sorts of venom to further poison mankind. The world he has become aware of gives you the delusion you are free and that there is a way out on your own. But there isn't, it will never let you leave, not until it's done with you.
Jurgis has formed a new perspective on the world and his sudden realization has finally dawned on him. When he is finally released from his prison, he find out his family is gone from their so called home. Jurgis panics but eventually finds out where to find them again. He manages to claw together money in order to help his wife who has gone into early child birth. Will he share his realization with his family? Or will he keep it to himself in order to keep them somewhat hopefukl of their sitatuation?
I like the analogy you made with the workers being put back out onto the street equipped with venom to further poison mankind. Interesting analysis!
Very thoughtful reflection! I like your questions at the end.
I love your analysis:) We're definitely seeing Jurgis' character develop with every page!
"Jurgis could see all the truth now, could see himself through the whole long course of events, the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him; of fiends that had racked and tortured him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face." Chapter 18
Significance/Connection: This quote is really significant because so far in the book, this quote summarizes Sinclair's feelings about capitalism better than any other. The "course of events" stood to represent capitalism, and the way in which Jurgis and his family were and will be taken advantage of stand as Sinclair's evidence behind his abhorrence of capitalism. I also connected with this quote because I can most definitely relate to the feeling of having everything against you. When events such as this occur, there is nothing better to do than just wait it out, except I fear the longer Jurgis waits for better days, the less likely they are to occur.
I don't know if it represents Capitalism so much as the butchered interpretation of complete monopolies that is American during the turn of the century. Capitalism is merely an economic model, it is the actions and wills of men that corrupt such engines and wreck horror on the world.
I like your connection to the capitalist society of America. I think that the story might be sad intentionally to leave the reader feeling a hatred of American capitalism. I liked the connection and I like the overlap with significance!
"Jurgis looked twice, bewildered; then he glanced at the house next door and at the one beyond--then at the saloon on the corner. Yes, it was the right place, quite certainly--he had not made any mistake. But the house--the house was a different color!" Chapter 18
Connection: Never have I ever been in this exact situation, however I have often had to do a double take on things. Jurgis having the long journey to get to what had been his home when he left, sorta made him seem like he was not really in a state of being focused so when he arrived to what he thought was his home, it was a different color, and therefore made him doubt himself and double check be looking at the surroundings. I do this all the time! A lot of times after a long car ride in with I probably slept in the car I'll wake up thinking I am somewhere, but it doesn't look right and I'll look around trying to find something familiar to reassure myself of my location. Also when I stay the night at someones house and then I don't remember the next morning I will wake up and freak out because the celling I am looking up at is not the same, until I look around and realize that I had stayed the night at someone else's house. I really connect with this quote and I also do a double take on several things to make sure what I saw the first time is correct.
I totally understand what you are saying! I do it all the time! Especially the sleepover part. It was a unique reflection and I didn't even think about connecting to the book in this way.
I really like the connection you made with this quote, it takes a whole different perspective of the book. It kind of explains the psychology behind the book which I really like.
You made a really good connection to yourself and how you would feel in situations like Jurgis's. It is something that a lot of people can relate to, not in the exact situation, but similar like you described.
"And so the other women turned out the contents of their pocketbooks; most of them had only pennies and nickels, but they gave him all. Mrs. Olszewski, who lived next door, and had a husband who was a skilled cattle butcher, but a drinking man, gave nearly half a dollar, enough to raise the whole sum to a dollar and a quarter."
The HOHAM I chose to reflect on was significance. I really think that the significance of this situation is hope. Everyone pooled together their money, despite how poor they were, but because they didn't want to see someone suffer. I was annoyed by the cliffhanger so I read chapter nineteen, and after lots of begging and almost giving up, A dollar and a quarter was enough! It shows that there is still good in the world! That even though everything is so hard and so many people have tried to cheat their family out of money, there is still some good in people. That they are still willing to help out. It signifies that there could be some good left in the world.
A dollar and a quarter is enough for right now, ti buy themselves a little time and hang on for a bit longer. Will it happen again? Should they again find themselves in so dire a situation, can they count on innate human kindness to save them? Will things turn out ok in the end, are there rainbows and butterflies in store for the family? Weeee shaaaaall seeee....
Great post! I also thought it was hopeful how generous his neighbors were. It made me consider how that contrasted with the generosity of Jurgis and Ona's wedding guests.
"She has been trying to get other work," the boy went on; "but she's so weak she can't keep up. And my boss would not take me back, either--Ona says he knows Connor, and that's the reason; they've all got a grudge against us now"
I think that the trait most exemplified by this passage is Supposition. How things might have turned out differently. Jurgis is in jail, Ona is sick, Marija has injured her hand badly. It's the middle of winter, and the wolves are closing in. The family has no where to turn, no way to maintain an income, no way to provide the barest necessities for life. Jurgis sits, helpless in jail, as everything they've worked towards, anything they may have dreamed of, is crushed by the American monopoly machine. Imagine if things could be different. If the judge hadn't passed so harsh a sentence, should he have seen reason, given thought to what Jurgis did and why he did it, maybe the family could have survived. Maybe they could've eked out a tiny bit more money, bought some more food to feed the family, survived until their prospects looked better. But instead, a bleak outlook, it looks as if a grim fate awaits the family.
I think it's a miracle they've made it this far in the first place, and I doubt any of Jurgis' family have much to lose after the house is gone (and Ona too). Great analysis, Adrian!
I was also curious to the thought of "what would happen if things were set differently?" I wonder what would happen if the events that take place within the book changed so that Jurgis was left with a little more ease during his trial. Would they be have been able to get themselves back on their feet or would the conditions stay the same overall for the family?
"I did not want-to do it." she said; "...I only did it-to save us. It was our only chance."..."And now you will kill him-you-you will kill him-and we shall die."
Supposition: This is the point at which the truth comes out about Ona's odd behavior and sends Jurgis and the family into rock bottom. This is a turning point which could have gone many ways. Suppose that the entire system had not been as corrupt as it was, do you think Jurgis's fate would have been the same even if he assaulted Conner? I think that if this had ever come up in today's society there would be major consequences to the boss and Jurgis's case would have a much stronger chance. There would also be objective investigations that would leave out feelings of the victims being 'foreigners' and the influence Conner might have had. Had society changed their working conditions already, Ona might have never felt as much pressure to submit to her boss. Or suppose that Ona had completely rejected him in the begging and Conner had carried through with his threats, effectively removing everyone from their jobs. Would their lives be worse or better?
"The fellow seems to have handled you pretty roughly. Thirty days and costs. Next case."
I choose the Habit of Mind evidence because I feel that this shows how Jurgis was treated by people. He was thrown into jail because he beat up his boss who harassed and raped his wife. He was taken into jail and then to court, only to be treated like dirt. The judge, Judge Callahan, didn't give a fair trial. He doesn't like foreigners, that made the trial unjust. Jurgis deserved a fair trial to tell everyone of the harassment his wife received. Yes, he did get upset that Connor raped his wife but who wouldn't? I was just so upset about this event. After his thirty some days in jail he comes home to a new family. His family was evicted from their house due to unpaid payments. His wife is suffering from a premature baby. Everyone is starving and they hardly have any money left. Half of their family is in Chicago because they can't get home from the awful weather. This family is going through so much hardship and I can't believe that they are still alive. It pains me to read another page because I end up crying at their suffering. I really want to see something good happen to them. These people do not deserve this. Almost all of their hope is gone. It is unbelievable how fast poverty hit them. They came to this land to start over again, to have a happy life and they end up with a life filled with poverty and starvation. My biggest question is: Can they get out of this before anyone else dies?
Rachel- Your reflection is truly sincere! I agree with your thoughts on the facts, and I understand your emotions. I wind up getting a pang in my heart and want them to smile for once.
“Ten thousand curses upon them and their law! Their justice—it was a lie, it was a lie, a hideous, brutal lie, a thing too black and hateful for any world but a world of nightmares. It was a sham and a loathsome mockery. There was no justice, there was no right, anywhere in it—it was only force, it was tyranny, the will and the power, reckless and unrestrained! They had ground him beneath their heel, they had devoured all his substance; they had murdered his old father, they had broken and wrecked his wife, they had crushed and cowed his whole family; and now they were through with him, they had no further use for him,” (Sinclair 175). I connected the perspective habit of mind to this quote, because it made me wonder what kind of immense wealth the bosses had amassed over all this time. It reminded me of something I read a long time ago, related to the founding of currency, and made me realize that these corrupt men had created a way to practically live off of other people without them realizing it. Without currency, the workers would obviously know they were bringing their bosses food and luxuries, but with currency, the fact went completely under their noses. The bosses had to do literally nothing, and they would amass pile after pile of money, to spend on their desires and needs on a moment’s whim. What was life like for the middle and upper classes during this period and in this area of Chicago? Was there even a middle class at all?
I found that sad, that the workers didn't seem to realize the bosses were taking advantage of them until way too late. Though there was a middle class at this time in America, there definitely wasn't one in the Chicago stockyards. The people only worked there to survive or save up to get out.
Interesting analysis, Cole! I liked that you connected your own thoughts to the family's perspective. Your quote was one of those earth-shattering realizations Sinclair likes to slip into his writing to make it great.
"'But I can work!' Jurgis exclaimed, 'I can earn money!'
'Yes,' [Marija] answered - 'but we thought you were in jail. How could we know when you would return?'"
Integrity: Jurgis desperation to do what he thinks is righteous - work to support and care for his family - is compromised by his sense of moral: he attacked Ona's employer for assaulting her. His integrity is admirable, but those same firm beliefs put him behind bars. Now the children are missing, turned out on the street because they are too hungry and tired to come home from work, the house is lost, and Ona could die in childbirth because they cannot afford a doctor. Jurgis is questioning his integrity - was it right to have acted the way he did? He believed so at the time. I think Sinclair's anguished turn of morals inside Jurgis is fantastic. The characters feel deep and alive. I look forward to watching the plot enfold further.
Great analysis, Sarah!(woah, feels like I'm talking to myself). I definitely agree with your thoughts, here. Jurgis' struggles of integrity and morality are so very human, and I think we can all relate to him! He did what he thought was right, but at what cost?
I do have to say, this analysis was excellent! The points raised were well represented and Jurgis's perspective, along with that of Ona and her family is detailed well.
This is a great analysis. I agree with everyone on this one. I have the same though as you did in thinking of why he should of been put in jail for something innocent.
I really agree with Jurgis questioning his integrity. I've been feeling that as I was reading the book and it makes me wonder how he will cope up with everything that he lost, how he will find a way to gain it back. Great analysis!
"Jurgis could see all the truth now-could see himself through the whole long course of events, the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him; of fiends that had racked and tortured him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face."
Perspective: At this point in the book, Jurgis has been put in jail after an unfair trial. He tries top explain that his family will not be able to provide for themselves if Jurgis can not work. The judge simply seems to not care and sentences Jurgis to a month in jail. This was a turning point in the book because he finally realizes that all the abuse him and his family have suffered might not be worth it. Im curious to see what Jurgis decides would be best for his family.
I agree with how you say that the time he spends in prison is a realization that life is not what it is said to be. I wonder if this will change his actions once he tries to return for work.
I also felt the same when I read this section of the book. I feel as though Jurgis has finally reached his all time low in life. As though he hit "rock bottom." I'm wondering if the events that take place within the book can get any worse, and if he really has hit "rock bottom."
Good job! I agree that Jurgis going through this hardship changed his perspective in a way and he finally realized that what they're going through isn't worth it.
Great job! I am also curious what Jurgis decides would be best for his family.
"And they could do nothing, they were tied hand and foot--the law was against them, the whole machinery of society was at their oppressors' command! If Jurgis so much as raised a hand against them, back he would go into that wild-beast pen from which he had just escaped!"
Jurgis’ attack against Connor, though loving and protective in intent and more than justified, was wild and animalistic. He let loose all of his rage on Connor in an entirely savage manner. The frauds and connections in Jurgis’ life are now clear to him. He thinks of his former meat packing company as a wild-beast pen which would make him the animal worker. I choose the HOHAM perspective because I believe this is moment where the character of Jurgis grows. His mind is just now fully grasping the entire hopeless of his situation and all the times he has been taken advantage of. Jurgis is finally aware of how mistreated he is. He imagines all the futures his family could have, and realizes none of them lead to happy endings.
"Into this wild-beast tangle these men had been born without their consent, they had taken part in it because they could not help it; that they were in jail was no disgrace to them, for the game had never been fair, the dice were loaded." (pg. 137)
HOHAM: Significance, connection, and a little perspective.
This is one of the quotes that really stuck out to me as I was reading it. I had to stop, and re-read it to really comprehend the meaning behind it.
At this point, Upton Sinclair is passed the point of describing the misery and unfairness of the time and has moved on to the true disparity of being a victim of society. This quote, which in context talks about men in prison- who may or may not have committed the crimes they are charged with- and the unfairness with which they are treated. They did not even have a choice in being brought into this world! And how they went along with it because the didn't know better. He then says how its not even a shame to them that they are in jail, because they knew that there was never any option, or choice, or anything they could've done to stop it.
The quote itself has the ability to bring up many ideas and philosophies: self actualization, predestination, socio-political tactics, etc. What makes this special is that the quote can be applied, if you will, to many topics. Even today, many people face the issue of "choice-less-ness". One example of this is children who are grown up in urban poverty; many wind up involved in illegal gang activities, but from their perspective they are left with little choice as it is one of the only ways to seek protection.
As Upton Sinclair said himself, "I aimed at the publics heart, and by accident I hit the stomach." (of course many of us can relate to this quote). Sinclair was not focused exclusively on the literal definition of his writings, and how they only might effect the characters. Instead, many of his words are universally applicable to life, even now days.
"He wouldn't allow it. Thinking about it would make it no better."
Connections: There are two ways to look at what Duane says here.
You could either say that he's extremely selfish and doesn't care about his family.
You could also say that he recognizes that thinking about the situation doesn't change the situation.
I think oftentimes we worry about our situations and we worry about what's going to happen and what we can do to make the best outcome! Sometimes we worry about our loved ones and forget to think about ourselves. I know i'm guilty of all of the above! Duane challenges this idea by saying that worrying doesn't do anything.
We've all heard this before time and time again, not to worry and we all roll our eyes upon hearing this because we know that it's much easier said than done.
Do we ever stop to wonder what our lives would be like if we just stopped worrying?
I love Duane's character because he is a free spirit, but he doesn't live life without consequences. He's done time three times now, but he has so many crazy stories because he's not afraid to live life! He's an educated man who sees adventure in the world... Maybe I identify with him because I have an eye for adventure. Nonetheless, we could all take a page from Duane and stop over-thinking! At the very least, Jurgis should follow his advice. I can already tell Jurgis is going to be taking some tips from this man, I could feel Jurgis' inspiration when he listened to Duane talk... or maybe that was my own inspiration... either way it's there!:)
I agree! Duane's character was probably one of my favorites in the book so far. I admire the way he thinks about life by just living it and enjoying it, despite the challenges that are there. Great post! (:
"He could hardly grasp the thing -- much less try to solve it; but a hundred wild surmises came to him, a sense of impending calamity overwhelmed him."
I believe the quote is representing Jurgis' point of view on the situation at hand. He is worried about his wife and what happened to her, and with all the weight on his shoulders throughout the countless hours of horrible working conditions he has yet another problem at hand. Jurgis goes to what he believes is Ona's "friend" and asks of her whereabouts, only to find that she had never been staying with the "friend" in the first place. At this point I felt as though Jurgis couldn't take any more, living in misery and constantly worrying about providing the right lifestyle for his family, all the while finding out his wife has been lying to him about where she has been staying during the wintery nights.
"He turned to the plaintiff, inquiring 'Is there any truth in this story, Mr. Connor?'
'Not a particle, your Honor,' said the boss. 'It is very unpleasant- they tell some such tale every time you have to discharge a woman-'
'Yes, I know,' said the judge. 'I hear it often enough. The fellow seems to have handled you pretty roughly. Thirty days and costs. Next case.'" (Sinclair 200)
Significance: Jurgis, after giving the judge insight into why he attacked Mr. Connor, was returned with only a question which doubted Jurgis' credibility by the judge. The judge simply asked Mr. Connor if the accusations were true, and he of course denied them. This was enough for the judge to determine that Jurgis was a guilty man and sentenced him to 30 days in jail. It was rather irritating seeing Jurgis' word being doubted, while Mr. Connor's word was taken as truth due to their social class ranking. Mr. Connor was a successful factory owner benefiting from the exploitation of his workers whereas Jurgis was a hardworking man in the lower class. This extreme social class difference was enough for the judge to disregard the justice system with which the United States was founded on and convict Jurgis of a crime with absolutely no evidence. It is alarming, yet interesting to know that such injustices were happening only about a hundred years ago.
I felt that this was an excellent examination from a vital portion of the reading. Fortunately, the bias within our legal system is slightly lower than in the 1900's.
"He smote his hands upon his forehead, cursing himself because he had ever allowed Ona to work where she had, because he had not stood between her and a fate which everyone knew to be oh so common."
This quote represents Supposition best, for it is entirely relevant to Jurgis's internal plight and constant battle with the American machine. Jurgis supposed that he was to earn lots of money and gain wealth in the States, but the truth was far from what he believed. The driving force behind Jurgis's determination throughout the book is his supposition at creating a far greater life for Ona than the life he would live in Lithuania. However, he has failed in his goal because what he supposed to be true or feasible was fabricated. As a result, Jurgis still feels the pain from his supposing and his failure to create a backup plan.
"Jurgis had had enough to eat in the jail, and the work had been the least trying of any that he had done since he came to Chicago."
This quote stunned me on how difficult and exhausted Jurgis is. A perfect HOHAM for this is perspective. The book constantly tells of how harsh working conditions are and the corruption within businesses. This quotes tells about how emotionally and physically drained Jurgis feels. Prison which is meant as a punishment to those who disobey the laws is better interpreted as a retirement home where food is garunteed and the work is easy. Kind of like hoping to go to jail in the later turns of monopoly. Jail is the only real safe place in a world that's purpose is to make as much money through whatever means necessary.
Even when Jurgis returns to his family he sees them starving, sick and exhausted. It must be difficult for everyone to continue their struggle to stay alive.
“There were hardened criminals and innocent men too poor to give bail; old men, and boys literally not yet in their teens. They were drainage of the great festering ulcer of society; they were hideous to look upon, sickening to talk to. All life had turned to rottenness and stench in them-love was beastliness, joy was a snare, and god was an imprecation. “
HOHAM REFLECTION: I chose connection for this passage and a little part before this because I connected with it in some crazy way. When I was reading this I was just thinking of when I was little living in an orphanage for some reason. When it says all the different types of criminals there were and all the different ages and race. If just reminded me when I was in an orphanage because we all had a different reason to be there and we are all different ages and different races but we were all in the same place. I’m not trying to say being in an orphanage is like jail because it’s not but this passage jumped out at me and I said connection right away.
Sophia- I think you had a great personalized evaluation of this quote. I really like how you chose connection as your hoham because it was the first thing you tied this quote to. Great job! :)
I have to agree with Hannah. I really like the way you made a deep personal connection to the passage. I think by making a personal connection you view the story in a different light.
“This wasn’t a world in which a man had any business with a family; sooner or later Jurgis would find that out also, and give up the fight and shift for himself.”
Cooperation: This is a very tough situation to be in. Jurgis is stuck in a city that is not “family friendly”. One might have barely enough money to support themselves, not an entire family, yet there is nothing they can do about it. It is a very sad situation, and sometimes you just have to work with what is thrown at you. If that means giving up and fighting just to save yourself, that may be what Jurgis has to do. The decision to do so would be tremendously difficult. However, with Teta Elzbieta, Ona, and Marija not working, they will all suffer even more now, and Jurgis will not be able to support them all while trying to support himself too.
I really like the quote you chose, it really is a powerful quote in the overall context of the story. How does it fall under cooperation? I personally don't see a connection.
"...she was wrecked and ruined because of it; and so was he, who had been a big, strong man three years ago, and now sat here shivering, broken, cowed, weeping like a hysterical child. Ah! they had cast their all into the fight; and they had lost, they had lost! All that they had paid was gone--every cent of it. And their house was gone--they were back where they had started from, flung out into the cold to starve and freeze!"
Perspective: At this point in the story Jurgis is living through the life he never thought of living. He had come to America in search for a better life, but instead got the the opposite. Jurgis must feel frustrated because all that hard work and money he put in order to get this house and now it was all gone. I think that his character is showing perspective because he is probably wondering how life would've been if he would have never came to America. Hopefully the family is able to overcome this situation because they've faced so many problems that one should not go through.
Quote: "Jurgis could see all the truth now-could see himself through the whole long course of events, the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him; of fiends that had racked and tortured him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face."
Response: Intellectual Curiosty: In the book jurgis was given an unfair trail. The judge was not sympathetic. Jurgis was sentenced to 30 days in prison. He tried begging the judge in saying that his family will starve if he does not work. The judge did not give in. I wonder what will happen to his family? Will someone give in to work for food?
" He did not look to be over twenty-two or three, though, as Jurgis found afterward, he was thirty. He spoke like a man of education, like what the world calls a "gentleman." "
Connection: This line is referring to Jack when he was put into the same cell as Jurgis. I felt that this quote had a very similar connection to the readings we recently had about Galton's theories on improving the human race. Jurgis states that Jack spoke like a man of education and states that the world calls those men gentleman. In the race improvement reading, it was stated that " Galton was particularly concerned with the decline of genius in society. He believed that intelligence is an inherited trait and that the upper classes contain the most intelligent and accomplished people." This connection showed me that Galton was not the only one who viewed educated/intelligent men as gentleman or accomplished people, it was everywhere.
"Being sent to jail had apparently not disturbed his cheerfulness; he had "done time" twice before"
Perspective: I chose to do my HOHAM on perspective this go around. i chose to do this because Jurgis has to think of a couple things here. Is life in jail better than life out of it for him? How does this effect his family? What does this show in terms of the way things are run outside of jail? For starters I would look at my family. I would think what a hard time they must being going through one knowing I am in jail and two, most importantly, trying to survive without me. Another thing to put into perspective would be is this place better than outside? At this point in time they were probably the same. That bringing me to my third point of perspective. How does this reflect upon the city? I would rethink arriving here and rethink what I am putting myself and my family through.
"And, for this, at the end of the week, he will carry home three dollars to his family, being his pay at the rate of five cents per hour-just about his proper share of the million and three quarters of children who are now engaged in earning their livings in the United States."
I just wanted to comment on how much of a picture of his life it gives us and how it is such a struggle and only makes 5 cents an hour basically packaging death meals for people in america. You would think he could get more? But I thought the way he worded the scene was so accurate and imagery
I really liked what you said about that quote. It also put a picture in my head in which I could interpret different ways every time.
"Jurgis could see the truth now- could see himself, through the whole long course of events, the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him;" Chapter 18
Perspective: After going to jail for beating up Ona's boss Conner, Jurgis realizes how much his life is really torn apart. His family is starving and trying to find work, and they are all falling apart as well. His hope of freedom and happiness for him and his family is all gone. Its sad to see how a family from a another country came to America to start a brand new life, but they then face many challenges that then brings them down starting from what they were.
Quote: " It was as if his family had been wiped out of existence;"
Chapter 17 and 18 have showed that hard work,morals, and motivation are a solid start towards the American Dream. But they do not help or do anything when it comes to social advancement. Its as if the American Dream isnt for immigrants, and they don't seem to improve their life, and its just getting worse. Jurgis' house was the only thing he had, and they took the only form of life him and his family had left. Having already lost his job and family, taking away his home was the worst. Jurgis returns to his home its as if he's returning to something that he wishes was permanent but is only temporary. There's not much Jurgis can do about the condition he's living, and can't stand up for himself. It'll be interesting to see if his life goes uphill or downhill from there.
"Rented it!" panted Jurgis. "I bought it! I paid for it! I own it!And they--my God, can't you tell me where my people went?"Chp. 18(about 3/5 from the end)
I really like this quote this showed how peoples property would not be respected as a legal transaction and everyone as soon as there is no sign of them. Then get thrown threw a loop trying to figure out what is going on in this twisted system that is called government. But what was inspiring was that even though this brick just hit him in his face he still focused on something truly important his "people" the ones he cared about. He had a goal but the goal still was not enough his life was just not on a steady ground with the ground being so cheep.
"Jurgis could see all the truth now--could see himself, through the whole long course of events, the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him; of fiends that had racked and tortured him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face."
Perspective: I chose the habit of mind perspective because in this quote his perspective changes and he realizes nothing goes his way. After he found out his house is gone and his family has moved he realizes that it is really bad and how can it get any worse. This just shows that even though you want to start a fresh new life, it might not work out they way you want it to in the end.
“Jurgis could see all the truth now-- could see himself, through the whole long course of event, the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him; of fiends that had racked and tortured him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face. ...He and his family, helpless women and children… and the enemies who had been lurking for them… That trap of the extra payments, the interest, and all the other charges they had not the means to pay… All of these things had worked together for the company that had marked them for its prey and was waiting for it’s chance… They could do nothing.”
I wasn’t exactly sure which HOHAM related best with this (long) quote, but I chose integrity. I think this quote/paragraph is significant because this is sort of the moment of realization for Jurgis. He finally realizes that all this time, he and his family (and along with all the other
immigrants) have fallen into the grasp of companies and factories to do nothing but get the most work out of them for the least amount of pay and to basically make their lives miserable and hardly better than where the family had worked so hard to escape from, but only to get pulled to another place with seemingly worse conditions. It seems that at this point in the story, things seem to be as low as they can get for Jurgis and his family, and it’s difficult to say whether things will pick up for them or if even worse things will happen to them. It’s very sad that at this time in history, so many people had to get stuck in a situation like this and that very few of them would get out of it, and overall would let people realize that the America they had imagined being so great and full of opportunities was just about the exact opposite.
"My home!" he half shrieked. "I lived here, I tell you."
"You must be mistaken," she answered him. "No one ever lived here. This is a new house. They told us so. They--"
Evidence: Near the beginning of the book I saw the foreshadowing of misfortune falling before the immigrant family. I later used suppostion to suppose that they would fall into poverty because of the American capitalist society. I predicted that they would lose their house and this event serves as evidence to the American system failing this immigrant family. This fateful scene also serves as foreshadowing for the dark road ahead for the estrainged Jurgis and his ailing family. This is also evidence of the scam of immigrant housing. The new family had been told that the house they moved into was new and that nobody had lived there before. They put a new coat of paint on it and pretended like nothing ever happened.
"Being sent to jail had apparently not disturbed his cheerfulness; he had "done time" twice before, it seemed, and he took it all with a frolic welcome." ch. 17
Connection: I chose this quote because as I was reading it made me think of people I knew. The newcomer was so cheerful and barely let the fact that he was in jail affect his attitude. He even distracted Jurgis and for a little to the point where he forgot that he was in jail. They shared stories and life experiences. Personally I know people exactly like this and I know people who are the opposite. Some people I know are very optimistic about anything. Anything you throw at them they will make it a positive. I remember when I was around people like this it would make me feel better. I could always look at them for a sense of easiness and they would make me feel calm because they would push all the bad feelings aside. When being around people who are the opposite you can sometimes feel very down and depressed. They could take a situation that wasn't even that bad and make it 10x worse. I tried to imagine a world where everybody was optimistic. If everyone was always so optimistic would it make me forget about reality and not focus on important things. I couldn't decide if a world where everyone is super optimistic, if it would be a good or bad thing. What do you think?
"Jurgis nodded. Then, suddenly recollecting, he put his hand into his pocket and drew it out, shaking. “Here,” he said, holding out the fourteen cents. “Take this to them.”
I think this quote goes well with supposition because it really shows how Jurgis wants to help out Stanislovas even though Jurgis is in jail. This shows a lot about how giving he is, even when he is in jail and has no money. Even today some people wouldn't be as generous and give money to people who need it because their afraid it won't go to a good cause. We are so lucky that getting money now isn't even compared to getting money back then.
Jurgis had had enough to eat in the jail, and the work
had been the least trying of any that he had done since
he came to Chicago
Most people view jail as a bad thing. I found this to fit nicely with perceptive. Jurgis knew where he was but he made the most out of it. This even implies that jail is BETTER than everyday life. In his ordiary life before jail, he had little food to feed his family and a very disgusting, hazardous and unforgiving job. In jail, he had food and work wasn't so hard and dangerous. The only thing that is keeping him away from jail is his family that he cares so much for. I bet is someone had no home and was cheated and nobody cared about their conditions. Then they would have gone back to jail because it is a little better than the conditions outside. But that's only if they had nothing to keep them going...Jurgis on the other hand, had a family.
Quote/Phrase: "They could tell the whole hateful story of it, set forth the inner soul of a city in which justice and honor, women's bodies and men's souls, were for sale in the marketplace, and human beings writhed and fought and fell upon each other like wolves in a pit; in which lusts were raging fires, and men were fuel, and humanity was festering and stewing and wallowing in its own corruption. Into this wild-beast tangle these men had been born without their consent, they had taken part in it because they could not help it; ... the game had never been fair, the dice were loaded." ch 17
Reflection: I understand that this is a ton of quote, but to me, you cannot butcher such an important one. I chose significance because this quote states what America became. To Jurgis and the other immigrant people, the poor people, the cities were corrupt, the businesses were fraud and life was a cruel torture to bear. The people wished that they hadn't been born. They wish that life had never made its way into them, they never wanted it. Life to the people was a cruel, endless pain. This phrase is significant because it sums up what America was back then, and what it was allowing to happen. People were wishing they had never come to life, because for them, life consisted only of death, sadness, terrible work that compared to selling our soul, withered embodiment, and the robbing of all hope. There is nothing for them at this point. They are at rock bottom.
""What will my family do?" he cried frantically. "I have a wife and baby, sir, and they have no money--my God, they will starve to death!"
"You would have done well to think about them before you committed the assault," said the judge dryly, as he turned to look at the next prisoner."
Integrity- The judge who presided over Jurgis's trial severly lacked integrity in my book. He hardly gave Jurgis a trial at all, immediately siding with the foreman. While I do believe that Jurgis acted hastily, I also believe that the foreman should have been punished, because he sexually assaulted Jurgis' wife. It the very least, Jurgis's sentence should be lessened, because who wouldn't try to attack the person who violated your wife. Not only that, but Ona was pregnant and extremely ill. However, the judge takes none of this into consideration, and chooses to only see that the foreman was hurt and Jurgis did it.
"Not a particle, your Honor," said the boss. "It is very unpleasant—they tell some such tale every time you have to discharge a woman—"
"Yes, I know," said the judge. "I hear it often enough. The fellow seems to have handled you pretty roughly. Thirty days and costs. Next case."
The HOHAM I chose for this quote was Integrity. In the story, the judge and Ona's boss both show a lack of integrity. Although they both posses an air of higher society, they fail to put social responsibility into consideration with cases like Jurgis'. Neither of them practice the importance of ethics in society even though it is a major part of their jobs to do just that. They are both acting against this man who is at a disadvantage to them, the boss is blatantly lying in court and the judge doesn't seem to care at all so long as he gets paid.
"They put him in a place where the snow could not beat in, where the cold could not eat through his bones; they brought him food and drink-why, in the name of heaven, if they must punish him, did they not put his family in jail and leave him outside-why could they find no better way to punish him than to leave three weak women and six helpless children to starve and freeze?"
For todays journal entry I chose "supposition" for my hoham. I saw this quote as almost a foreshadowing to what America will eventually turn into in the future. All the signs for a better America needing to happen are in this book- It was almost like a go big or go home kind of thing back then. You slaved away, making just enough, and if you mess up a little bit you're absolutely screwed. If someone got an injury in the factory, then not only do they have to suffer but also their entire family. This is kind of what inspired health care, and whatnot, so if someone does get hurt then they can eventually come back to the workplace and contribute. It is really needed in society, and with out this book, there could have been none of the advances that America has made in the industry. So, these chapters, especially this quote, makes me suppose that America will eventually fix these problems within the industry-and I supposed correctly, look at Americas industry now!
Quote: “Their home! Their home! They had lost it! Grief, despair, rage, overwhelmed him—what was any imagination of the thing to this heartbreaking, crushing reality of it”
Significance: I think I choose this quote because was extremely emotional and passionate coming from Jurgis. He just got out of prison, lots his house, and doesn't have a job. For her to come out and welcome him so gracefully really touched me and was really cool to read. I choose significance because it was significant to the story that even though Jurgis was in jail and things were bad, his family still loved him and welcomed him back. I think that this quote was really great because it gave me such a passionate feeling.
"He spoke like a man of education, like what the world calls a "gentleman."
With this quote I saw significance. Jurgis met this man in jail, but yet called him a "gentleman". To me when I hear that word I do not picture someone who would be put in prison. This gives me the sense that during this time many were put in jail for perhaps un just reasons. This is an important point to bring out in connection with the reading we did last night. Some wanted to remove men of morals, but it does not make sense. Isn't it morals that keep a person out of trouble?
they were working people, poor people, whose money was their strength, the very substance of them, body and soul, the thing by which they lived and for lack of which they died.
This quote shows the significance of money in this world of capitalism. It intrigues me, this idea that, an item with no innate value, that its value is chosen by the takers, can have such power in anybodys life. That this item can be far more important than food, shelter, and more. And that because somebody did not have it, they would likely die on the streets.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.