We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
GO TO SAT PREP GO TO ACT PREP
The Jungle

The Jungle

  

by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle Chapter 28 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 28
  • Jurgis is released without a fine.
  • The judge is distracted and doesn't really care about his whole story that he was looking for his sister.
  • So, Jurgis waits outside for Marija and they walk back to her brothel together
  • In the sunlight, Jurgis sees that Marija doesn't look well.
  • Apparently, Marija has started using morphine.
  • Marija needs the drugs to keep working at this place.
  • She cannot imagine what other job she would do, now. She's also not saving any money.
  • Still, Marija does manage to give $15 to Elzbieta every week, so the kids can go to school. (The only children of Elzbieta's that are still alive must be Kotrina, Vilimas, Nikolajus, and Juozapas – four out of six.)
  • Many of the girls at the brothel start working there against their will.
  • Marija tells a horrible story of a French woman who was put in a room alone, giving drugs, and then raped while she was passed out. That's how she became a prostitute.
  • One of the other girls brought in with this woman jumped out of a window recently.
  • There's a huge profit to be made by bringing girls in for sexual slavery at these brothels.
  • Marija's brothel has women from nine different countries, many of them initially tricked into the business.
  • Jurgis claims some women say they like being prostitutes.
  • Marija asks how that can be possible: who would genuinely like to have no say at all in who they have sex with? All the prostitutes she knows didn't want to do it when they started.
  • Marija gives Jurgis lunch.
  • After lunch, a customer comes for Marija. Jurgis has to go.
  • Jurgis asks Marija for some money, and Marija gives him a quarter.
  • Jurgis wants to get a job before he goes back to see Teta Elzbieta, but Marija says not to worry about it – they'll be glad to see Jurgis.
  • Jurgis spends the day looking for work.
  • Eventually, he finds himself outside another political meeting. It's free, so he goes inside.
  • A man comes onto the podium, and the whole audience cheers loudly for him.
  • Jurgis thinks this is all pointless. He knows what goes on behind the scenes in politics.
  • Jurgis keeps thinking about what he should do about Marija and Teta Elzbieta. He finally decides he'll just go see Teta Elzbieta the next morning, even if he doesn't have a job.
  • Jurgis starts to drowse off again.
  • Someone wakes him, and Jurgis realizes he has been snoring.
  • He thinks he's going to be booted out of the meeting again.
  • The woman sitting next to Jurgis calls him "Comrade," and suggests that he listen to the speech.
  • Jurgis is so surprised that a lady would call him comrade that he starts to pay attention to the speaker.
  • The speaker pleads with the working man: he knows what the working life is like; he knows how hard it is to have no food and to walk the streets.
  • This speaker is bringing a message of salvation: we can be free from our self-created slavery.
  • Everywhere in the world, there is war and conflict. What are these conflicts based on? Greed.
  • All of this pain is absolutely systematic; it is the result of world economic structures that demand that some people be kept poor and miserable while others become rich.
  • The whole world is at the mercy of these few rich men, who keep the rest of us as slaves.
  • To change this system of inequality and exploitation, working people need to make their voices heard.
  • How can that happen? By joining the (socialist) movement and rising up against the Powers That Be.
  • Jurgis hears this speaker's words and suddenly feels overwhelmed.
  • He remembers all of his oppression since coming to Chicago.
  • He is ashamed that he submitted to this bad treatment.
  • Jurgis suddenly feels as though his soul is waking up again after years of despair and degradation.
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 28

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement