The Jungle eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 445 pages of information about The Jungle.
of profit.  When Jurgis had made himself familiar with the Socialist literature, as he would very quickly, he would get glimpses of the Beef Trust from all sorts of aspects, and he would find it everywhere the same; it was the incarnation of blind and insensate Greed.  It was a monster devouring with a thousand mouths, trampling with a thousand hoofs; it was the Great Butcher—­it was the spirit of Capitalism made flesh.  Upon the ocean of commerce it sailed as a pirate ship; it had hoisted the black flag and declared war upon civilization.  Bribery and corruption were its everyday methods.  In Chicago the city government was simply one of its branch offices; it stole billions of gallons of city water openly, it dictated to the courts the sentences of disorderly strikers, it forbade the mayor to enforce the building laws against it.  In the national capital it had power to prevent inspection of its product, and to falsify government reports; it violated the rebate laws, and when an investigation was threatened it burned its books and sent its criminal agents out of the country.  In the commercial world it was a Juggernaut car; it wiped out thousands of businesses every year, it drove men to madness and suicide.  It had forced the price of cattle so low as to destroy the stock-raising industry, an occupation upon which whole states existed; it had ruined thousands of butchers who had refused to handle its products.  It divided the country into districts, and fixed the price of meat in all of them; and it owned all the refrigerator cars, and levied an enormous tribute upon all poultry and eggs and fruit and vegetables.  With the millions of dollars a week that poured in upon it, it was reaching out for the control of other interests, railroads and trolley lines, gas and electric light franchises—­it already owned the leather and the grain business of the country.  The people were tremendously stirred up over its encroachments, but nobody had any remedy to suggest; it was the task of Socialists to teach and organize them, and prepare them for the time when they were to seize the huge machine called the Beef Trust, and use it to produce food for human beings and not to heap up fortunes for a band of pirates.  It was long after midnight when Jurgis lay down upon the floor of Ostrinski’s kitchen; and yet it was an hour before he could get to sleep, for the glory of that joyful vision of the people of Packingtown marching in and taking possession of the Union Stockyards!

Chapter 30

Jurgis had breakfast with Ostrinski and his family, and then he went home to Elzbieta.  He was no longer shy about it—­when he went in, instead of saying all the things he had been planning to say, he started to tell Elzbieta about the revolution!  At first she thought he was out of his mind, and it was hours before she could really feel certain that he was himself.  When, however, she had satisfied herself that he was sane upon all subjects except

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The Jungle from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.