Chapter 21 Notes from The Jungle

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The Jungle Chapter 21

Money is low again and Baby Antanas is cold and hungry. While Jurgis looks for a new job, Juozapas, another of Elzbieta's sons, scours the dump for food. One day when he is digging through garbage, a well-dressed woman stops him and asks about his family's problems. She tells him she is a settlement worker and will come to the family's boarding house to hear more. She is shocked by filth and blood smeared on the walls. Elzbieta tells the woman about their tragedies and the woman bursts into tears. She sends them a basket of food and gives Jurgis a letter to take to the superintendent of a mill in the steelworks in South Chicago-her fiancée. When Jurgis arrives at the steelworks, he is interviewed by a company timekeeper and given a job moving steel railroad ties with crowbars. The factory is 16 miles away and it takes Jurgis two hours to get there. He decides to move into a lodging house nearby and come home on Saturday nights with his pay for the family. At work he witnesses many accidents, due to risky shortcuts. He burns his hand helping a man who has been badly burned, and is out of work for 8 days, recovering. Elzbieta has found a job scrubbing the floors of the packers' offices; Marija works as a beef trimmer and the children continue selling papers. As spring arrives, the horrible roads in the yards flood with mud and water. One day when Jurgis arrives home, he spots a crowd gathered in front of Aniele's house. Baby Antanas has fallen off the sidewalk-a platform of boards five feet above the street- and drowned in the muddy river below. He is dead.

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