Study Guide

Baby Antanas in The Jungle

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Baby Antanas

Ona's first child is a big, healthy boy called Antanas. To distinguish him from Jurgis's father, we have taken to calling him Baby Antanas. Jurgis loves his son deeply even though he hardly ever gets to spend time with the kid because his work schedule is so intense. After Ona dies, Baby Antanas is mainly left in the care of Kotrina Lukoszaite. Kotrina is only thirteen and very busy, so Antanas spends much of his day crawling around the house unsupervised. He has caught pretty much every disease known to man – measles, scarlet fever, mumps, whooping cough, you name it, this kid has had it. But he is so strong and resilient that he always gets better.

Jurgis loves Baby Antanas's toughness and encourages him to be self-reliant and even pigheaded. This proves to be a mistake, though: Baby Antanas is so curious and eager that he runs out of the house and no one can stop him. Once Baby Antanas hits the street, he drowns in a pothole. He is only a year and a half old. Baby Antanas's sudden death is what drives Jurgis to try out the wandering life as a hobo.

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