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The Jungle Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapters 11-12 Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Jungle.
This section contains 773 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)

Summary

Rumors of job cuts begin to float around the stockyards, and Jurgis begins to worry. Marija is not worried, however, because there was one recently where she works. For this reason, Marija feels comfortable enough with her savings to put it in the bank. However, when there is a run on the bank, she takes her money out of the bank and never puts it back.

Jurgis and Ona are doing well at the end of summer. They also have some savings in the bank and hope to save more when they finish paying for their furniture. When winter hits, Jurgis fights the elements to make sure everyone gets to work safely each morning. However, one day on the killing beds a steer gets free and goes wild. Jurgis injures his ankle when he jumps out of the way. At first he does not think the injury is serious, but soon the pain is so bad that he asks to see the company doctor. The company doctor claims it is only a sprain. Since it is not the company’s fault, there is little he can do. Jurgis is forced to remain home for several weeks to allow his ankle to heal without pay. This leaves the family once again in an economic pinch that causes Ona to have to nearly empty their bank account just to feed the family.

For weeks Jurgis suffers with his ankle. Unable to stand to watch his family suffer anymore, Jurgis begins walking on the ankle and finally goes back to work. However, after only one day the pain is too much and Jurgis cannot stand it. The family calls a doctor and learns that Jurgis has misaligned a tendon. The tendon is pushed back into place, but Jurgis must stay off of it for a few more months to allow it to heal. About this same time, Jonas disappears. Due to the financial need, they decide to send two of the boys to work in the city selling newspapers. At the same time, Ona becomes pregnant and begins suffering from depression.

When Jurgis is finally fit to return to work, he finds that his job is not waiting for him. For this reason, Jurgis begins the long search for more work. This time he is thinner and not as strong as before, so he has trouble finding a job.

Analysis

Jurgis and Ona are finally ahead and feel secure in their lives. However, this does not last long. As winter comes on, Jurgis is injured at work. This leaves Jurgis unable to work for months as he waits for his ankle to heel. Unlike modern times when a person cannot work, they have no other way to make money. For this reason, Jurgis is forced to lie still and watch his family slowly starve to death on Ona, Marija, and Stanislovas’ earnings only. It is a very difficult time that underscores how precarious life is for working people like the Rudkus family during this time period.

The family has begun to struggle financially in a way they have never done before. Things are beginning to look bleak in the light of Jurgis’s inability to work. Jurgis is a man who is humiliated by his inability to provide for his family, so he tries to return to work, but the pain is too much. Finally they discover that the company doctor misses, or did not care enough, a serious element to the injury that could have been easily repaired. For this reason, Jurgis must be out of work even longer. Jurgis ends up spending nearly all winter laid up. It is a dark and difficult time for the family that is made worse by the disappearance of Ona’s brother, Jonas, and the necessity of sending two of the younger boys to work. Things are beginning to look very dark for this family.

Discussion Question 1

How is Jurgis injured? Why does the company doctor claim it is not the company’s responsibility? What is done for Jurgis?

Discussion Question 2

Why is Ona having bouts of crying? What is happening that makes her feel this way? How does Jurgis respond?

Discussion Question 3

What happened to Jonas? Why does the family not do more to find him? What does the family believe happened to him? What does the author imply happened to him?

Vocabulary

Fascinating, seriousness, rascal, everlasting, hypocrisy, delight, stricken, resource, imagining, beautiful, peevish, greater, regardless, possible, inroad, account, pitiful, chemicals, accustomed, penal, offense, quantities, selfish, members, splitters, unskilled, dependent, liable, promise, limitations, circumstances, skilled, instance, merciless, carelessness, occasion, acquaintance, damaged, article, members, bitterness.

This section contains 773 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Copyrights
The Jungle from BookRags. (c) 2013 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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