Chapter 22 Notes from The Jungle

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The Jungle Chapter 22

Jurgis is again mad with grief but this time he has to escape. He rail-hops a train car headed west and as he passes into countryside, he is overjoyed. He has never dreamed that America could look like this. "Only think that he had been a countryman all his life; and for three long years he had never seen a country sight nor heard a country sound!" Chapter 22, pg. 254 He eats at farmhouses, swims in the creek, and travels the countryside. His lost vigor returns. Jurgis makes a conscious decision not to work for the farmers he meets because none of them can promise to keep him through the winter. Instead, he'll become a tramp, stealing potatoes and apples from farms, and becoming a part of the tramp community, taking harvest work here and there. He frequents saloons and prostitutes. One night, he comes upon a house owned by a Slav and they speak of the old country, but when he sees the Slav's wife bathing her infant, he bursts into tears and flees. The memory of Antanas cuts him like a knife. "Ah what agony is that, what despair, when the tomb of memory is rent open and the ghosts of his old life comes forth to scourge him!" Chapter 22, pg. 264

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