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Characters

Jurgis Rudkus Timeline and Summary

  • Jurgis Rudkus falls in love with a girl from a nearby town, Ona Lukoszaite.
  • Jurgis, Ona, Teta Elzbieta, Teta Elzbieta's six children, Marija Berczynskas, Antanas Rudkus, and Jonas all decide to head to America.
  • The family arrives in Chicago.
  • Jurgis heads straight out to the stockyards.
  • He is big and strong, and he finds employment right away.
  • Once Jurgis, Antanas, Marija, and Jonas all have work, the family decides to buy a house.
  • Unexpected interest payments crop up, and Ona and Stanislovas have to join the work force, too.
  • Jurgis and Ona get married.
  • Jurgis's grandfather develops a persistent cough and dies.
  • Ona is about to have a baby, and Jurgis works his butt off to earn money for a doctor.
  • Ona gives birth to their first child, a healthy baby boy. They name him Antanas in honor of Jurgis's grandfather.
  • Summer comes and work picks up.
  • Jurgis gets injured on the job and has to stay in bed for a couple of months.
  • Jurgis grows increasingly frustrated with his injury and takes it out on his family (especially young Stanislovas).
  • The family has no choice but to send Teta Elzbieta, Vilimas (eleven), and Nikolajus (ten) out into the workforce.
  • Jurgis begins to notice that Ona is having hysterical fits of crying.
  • Jurgis finds out that Ona is upset because she has been sexually harassed and raped by her boss, Connor.
  • Jurgis goes straight out and attempts to strangle Connor.
  • Jurgis gets thirty days in jail for assault.
  • Jurgis meets Jack Duane, the gentleman safe-cracker. Duane gives Jurgis his address so that they can stay in touch.
  • Jurgis leaves prison to find Ona in premature labor with their second child. Both Ona and the baby die.
  • His family members have also lost the house for which they sacrificed so much. They missed one monthly payment and were evicted.
  • Jurgis tries to stay sober and employed for the sake of his young son, Baby Antanas.
  • Baby Antanas runs out into the street one day and drowns in a pothole.
  • Jurgis leaves Packingtown to become a hobo for the summer.
  • Jurgis eventually returns to Chicago once winter comes and there is no more farm work.
  • He gets thrown into jail a second time for assault, this time on a bartender who stole money from him.
  • Jurgis meets Jack Duane again.
  • Jurgis has given up all hope of a better life. He becomes a criminal once he is released from jail.
  • Jurgis and Jack Duane start mugging people.
  • Jurgis works for crooked millionaire Mike Scully to rig the next municipal election.
  • Once the stockyard unions go on strike, Jurgis keeps working and becomes a factory foreman.
  • Jurgis has managed to put aside three hundred bucks in savings thanks to all of his unethical activity.
  • Jurgis happens to walk by Connor one day and attacks him once more.
  • Jurgis manages to get away on bail, but it costs him all of his savings to do it.
  • Jurgis is reduced to begging yet again.
  • Jurgis meets Marija once more. She has become a prostitute, and the rest of the family is living off her profits.
  • One night, Jurgis stumbles in to a Socialist Party meeting that is free to the public.
  • Jurgis becomes an ardent socialist.
  • Jurgis gets a job as a night porter at a hotel run by socialist Tommy Hinds.
  • Jurgis tries to convince Marija to leave the brothel and join him in socialism, but she has lost all hope for the future.
  • Jurgis believes that he can improve the lives of all working men by helping the socialist cause.
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