Chapter 14 Notes from The Jungle

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The Jungle Chapter 14

As they work in their respective wings of the packinghouses, Jurgis and Elzbieta see the swindles first hand. For instance, whenever meat is so spoiled that it can't be used for cuts, it is canned or made into sausages. The workers are instructed to fill these spoiled and discolored sausages with chemicals that make the spoilage less apparent. Elzbieta has to trim the spoiled sausages, which have been treated with borax and glycerine, as well as trim meat that has fallen on the rat-infested floor. When the shovelers come by, they shovel the bread, rats and spoiled meat into the sausage vats. "This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat will be shoveled into carts and the man who did the shoveling will not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one." Chapter 14, pg. 162

Topic Tracking: Muckraking 7

Ona is now terribly ill and the family's life is becoming even more desolate. Jurgis is drinking heavily now. He begins to resent his family for the bonds he felt they kept him in. Baby Antanas is sick with measles and Ona is pregnant again. This is a dreadful development, for Ona is too sick to have a baby. She's developed a horrific cough, like the one that killed Dede Antanas. Jurgis and Ona quarrel regularly now and Ona has fits.

"They were beaten; they had lost the game, they were swept aside. It was not less tragic because it was so sordid, because that it had to do with wages and grocery bills and rents. They had dreamed of freedom; of a chance to look about them and learn something; to be decent and clean, to see their child group up to be strong. And now it was all gone-it would never be!" Chapter 14, pg. 163

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