Chapter 16 Notes from The Jungle

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The Jungle Chapter 16

Jurgis is charged with assault and battery and after savoring that moment of satisfaction from beating the man who corrupted his wife, Jurgis begins to realize that what he has done will be bad for the family. Ona will lose her job. In his jail cell, Jurgis is tortured by thoughts of the hardship his family will suffer with him in jail and unable to work. Judge Pat Callahan, an ex-butcher who is now a corrupt politician-conservative and xenophobic-hears Jurgis's case. He deals Jurgis a $300 bond which Jurgis cannot pay and Jurgis is sent to Bridewell jail. "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?" Chapter 16, pg. 191 He stays there through Christmas and wonders how it is that the prisoner receives three meals a day while hard working families starved. "He has no wit to trace back the social crime to its far sources-he could not say that it is the thing men have called "the system" that is crushing him to the earth; that it is the packers, his masters, who has dealt their brutal will to him from the seat of justice." Chapter 16, pg. 191

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