Ona is going to be buried the next day in Chicago's "potter's field," a public cemetery for people too poor to afford their own burial plot.
Teta Elzbieta is begging around the neighborhood for money to give Ona a proper Catholic funeral mass.
Mrs. Jukniene scolds Jurgis for going out and spending the last of their money while they owe rent and the children are all starving.
In the attic room, Marija is sitting holding Antanas, and Juozapas Lukoszaite is crying with hunger.
Jurgis sits thinking of Ona and how much he loves her.
Teta Elzbieta comes home. She has gotten the money for Ona's mass.
Teta Elzbieta sits next to Jurgis and pleads with him. She begs Jurgis to pull himself together, get a job, and help the family.
Teta Elzbieta is afraid that Jurgis will abandon his family now, as Jonas had done.
Jurgis agrees to try, for his son's sake.
So the next morning, Jurgis goes out to his fertilizer plant. Yet there is no job waiting for him there.
Jurgis tries at place after place to find a job.
Meanwhile, Elzbieta is still feeding her children with the money that she has been begging for in Chicago's Hyde Park.
Eventually, Jurgis lucks out. He thinks he's found a job at Jones's meatpacking plant pushing carts. (BTW, this is the job that Jonas had before he ran away.)
Jurgis appears the next morning to start work under the foreman he spoke to the day before.
The foreman apologizes: he's made a mistake. He can't use Jurgis.
Jurgis's friends at one of the bars explain to him that he has been blacklisted. After beating the stuffing out of a boss in the yards, does Jurgis really think anyone at the meatpacking plants will hire him again? He's got no chance for another job at Packingtown.
He, Teta Elzbieta, and Marija discuss the possibility of moving.
Moving would bring them closer to the children's workplace.
But Marija's hand is feeling better, and she wants to try and find a meatpacking job.
What's more, Marija can't quite bring herself to abandon Tamoszius Kuszleika, even though she only sees him about once a month nowadays.
Teta Elzbieta also thinks she might be able to get a job cleaning at Durham's offices.
So the family decides that Jurgis should go downtown by himself to look for work and then they can decide.
Jurgis goes downtown, homeless and alone.
He begs and gets small jobs here and there, but he doesn't find solid work for two weeks.
Finally, Jurgis gets a position thanks to a union friend of his.
This friend points Jurgis in the direction of a well-meaning, enlightened factory that makes farm implements.
This place is called Harvester Trust, and it pays good money. It also has airy, nice workshops, and even a reading room.
Even if Harvester Trust seems well-meaning, it's still a factory with an assembly line and lots of big machines.
The work is boring and repetitive, and the company employs child workers.
Even so, Jurgis is making money again – he has enough to pay his rent and to pick up his coat from the pawn shop.
Jurgis wants to start over and to save money for his (remaining) family now that the interest from the house is no longer draining him dry.
Jurgis starts to have hope again.
Then, of course, Jurgis is ruined again: when he goes to Harvester Trust for work, he finds that the company has been shut down until further notice.