Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chapter 2 in The Jungle

Sorry guys - I know I missed two days in a row, but....I got bogged down with homework and family stuff. Anyway, you can read Chapter 2 through the link in the title. In this chapter, Upton Sinclair spends the chapter describing the first day in Packingtown for the family that came from Lithuania and how it came to be that they got there. I have no idea how it would feel to step off of a train or a boat and not know the language or anything about the place and then make my life there. I am not sure I am brave enough to do that. I think from reading the introduction that I can see that Upton Sinclair cared about the workers far more than he did for what was happening at the slaughtering houses. What he failed to take into consideration is that people rarely care about things that do not affect them and are highly offended about things that affect them directly. I think this chapter also started to show the dry humor that Mr. Sinclair has about things.

"Beyond this dump there stood a great brickyard, with smoking chimneys. First they took out the soil to make bricks, and then they filled it up again with garbage, which seemed to Jurgis and Ona a felicitous arrangement, characteristic of an enterprising country like America. A little way beyond was another great hole, which they had emptied and not yet filled up. This held water, and all summer it stood there, with the near-by soil draining into it, festering and stewing in the sun; and then, when winter came, somebody cut the ice on it, and sold it to the people of the city. This, too, seemed to the newcomers an economical arrangement; for they did not read the newspapers, and their heads were not full of troublesome thoughts about "germs."

It may not seem funny to the people in the story but it is witty. Here are my thoughts:

Have you ever had an experience of feeling so lost and adrift like an immigrant coming to a new country without any language or city skills?

Obviously Upton Sinclair believes that the way that the stockyards are taking advantage of the immigrants is wrong, but in a free market some people get taken advantage of and some people don't. What sort of regulations or safety net do you think there should be?

Also, Jurgis and Ona seem truly in love. I love to hear people's love stories. Tell me any romantic stories you want to. I appreciate it. My husband and I have been together for 5 years now and it just keeps getting better. It constantly surprises me.

Well, I look forward to your comments and hope to hear from you. Have a good night and stay safe.

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