by Upton Sinclair
Character Role Analysis
Jurgis is the poor sucker who descends into the jungle (i.e., those Chicago meatpacking plants) with all the excitement of a ten-year-old kid who's just gotten a new Nintendo Wii. He's also the guy who busts his butt trying to make ends meet for his family, and who gets more and more bitter as a result. When his wife and son die, we leave Chicago behind to follow Jurgis on his hobo adventure through Illinois. When Jurgis converts to Socialism, we accompany him to the Party meetings he attends. As you can see from this (very brief) description of the whole plot of The Jungle, Jurgis Rudkus is our main character; he's the one who we follow through all the twists and turns of his confrontation with the American Dream.