Notes on Objects & Places from The Jungle

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The Jungle Objects/Places

Lithuanians : People from Lithuania. This ethnic group immigrated to Chicago in a large wave during the first years of the 20th century. The central family of The Jungle lives in a Lithuianian enclave in the yards. Like other Eastern European immigrants, Lithuanians were exploited for labor purposes.

Veselija : A traditional Lithuanian wedding feast. Jurgis and Ona give a veselija to celebrate their wedding but find that the wedding gifts and proceeds from the Acziarimas Ceremony are far from enough to pay for the extravagant feast.

Durham's Meat: The meat packing plant and slaughterhouse where Jurgis and a number of family members work. Engaged in illegal labor activities as well as unsafe food handling activities.

Lithuania : The family's home country, idealized in their memories as a beautiful place with lush meadows and green trees and glistening lakes. Ona and Jurgis met and fell in love in Lithuania and the music of their homeland figures importantly into traditional festivities, such as the veselija.

Acziarimas Ceremony : An uninterrupted bridal dance, lasting three or four hours, in which male guests pay for the privilege of dancing with the bride. The money is set aside for the couple's wedding expenses.

The Yards : The neighborhood surrounding the packing plants. A filthy, vermin-infested slum with no sewage system, no sidewalks, a garbage dump where children pick out food for meals, and a cesspool of sewage water which the plant bosses use to cut ice and sell it to the public during the winter. The family lives in the yards.

Brown's Meat : Durham's rival and engaged in the same kind of illegal activities as Brown's. Both plants are egged into fierce competition by the government, though sometimes they work in tandem-when they fix meat prices, for example. Jurgis also works at Brown's during his time in Chicago.

Chicago : The city the family lives and works in. Home to a constellation of huge meatpacking plants and a center for corruption in politics, industry, and government.

Ashland Avenue : A street in Chicago, near the yards where the majority of the saloons are located. The workers spend much of their time and money here, some becoming alcoholics and others organizing union activities at the tables.

Downtown: Section of Chicago where Ona works as a prostitute and, later, Marija as well. Elzbieta's sons sell newspapers downtown and Jurgis, when he's starving, begs there.

Bridewell Prison : The Chicago prison where Jurgis is sent after his many scrapes with the law. He meets Jack Duane here. He also reflects that it's hard to tell which is the prison: inside the bars or outside.

Countryside : Jurgis flees to the countryside of Illinois and Missouri and is rejuvenated by a landscape that reminds him of Lithuania.

Hind's Hotel : Hotel run by Socialist Tommy Hind. A hotbed of Socialist activity and a popular hotel for travelers who enjoy listening to the polemics of the staff.

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