The Jungle Essay

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Nick Rybarczyk Outside Reading Assignment (1) The historical time period had a huge effect on the protagonist, Jurgis’ life. Starting off with the historical time period (early 1900’s), Jurgis had a very hard time maintaining the necessities of living a normal American life. Being an immigrant from Lithuania, he looked for work in a very heavily populated city, which ended up being Chicago. In this time period, jobs were available but it was high-earning upper class job that were nearly impossible for an immigrant to get. The basic route for immigrants was to find a factory to work in, and make enough money to for you and your family to get by. Jurgis found a job in Packingtown. Packingtown was the meat packing section in Chicago and he worked in a slaughterhouse. His job was not very attractive at all, didn’t pay enough, and he was forced into working in very unfair conditions but he had to do it because he needed a source of income. At this time, it wasn’t just Packingtown that had improper conditions for their workers; it was factories all over the nation. These factories and plants did not care at all about their workers welfare, they basically wanted the work done and didn’t care how it happened. At first, if people didn’t like the condition or had a problem with their job, they would be instantly fired because many people wanted to work and it wouldn’t be hard to find another person. Later, people and workers started to vocalize the problems going on with these factories and the working conditions. Muckrakers came into play, who were people exposing this phenomenon to the world and it became very public in all areas of the nation. On page 103 “Up to a year or two ago it had been the custom to kill horses in the yards-ostensibly for fertilizer-but after long agitation the newspapers had been able to make the public realize the horses were being canned”.

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