18 February 2010
Ignorance by Upton Sinclair
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is a novel brimming with the profound sense of heart break through its portrayal of the hardships faced by a Lithuanian immigrant family and their struggles to survive. They come to America in pure ignorance bliss. "He has said that in Lithuania when one official has taken his passport from him, and another has arrests him for being without it, and the two has divides a third of his belongings. He has said it again in New York, when the smooth-spoken agent has taken them in hand and made them pay such high prices, and almost prevents their leaving his place, in spite of their paying. Now he said it a third time, and Ona drew a deep breath; it is so wonderful to has a husband, just like a grown woman and a husband who could solve all problems, and who is so big and strong!" Ignorance is a disease by which all humans are infects and Jurgis's family is no exception to the rule. The experience in New York did not make them any the wiser to the scams that were pulls on the ignorant immigrants that migrates to America by the shipload. It made them hold a little harder to their money and Jurgis motto of working harder came into play.
When they arrives soon after in Chicago, Jurgis just knows he is going to get work. He does, for Jurgis is a big strong man. His strength can be easily recognise from a distance and quickly he is assigns to the killing beds. In his ignorance, he thought he would be secure of a job forever because he is young and strong. He is warns by his more enlightens colleagues that the system is flaws but he did not believe them. He refuses to be a part of any union. He got physical with an Irishman who tries to recruit him into the union. He believes that Brown and Durham is good and the men complaining were lazy scum. There is a very few in the thinking that the meat packers were good, even through it become quite evident that is not the truth.
Dede Antanas is Jurgis elderly father who made the trip to America with them. He is old and thus deems unsuitable for work in the meat packing industries, where youth and strength prevails and the weak can be causually tossed aside. “So, after all, there is a crack in the fine structure of Jurgis' faith in things as they are. The crack is wide while Dede Antanas is hunting a job—and it is yet wider when he finally got it. For one evening the old man comes home in a great state of excitement, with the tale that he has been approach by a man in one of the corridors of the pickle rooms of Durham's, and asks what he would pay to get a job. He has not known what to make of this at first; but the man has gone on with matter-of-fact frankness to say that he could get him a job, providing that he were willing to pay one-third of his wages for it.” Imagine a time when someone has to pay one third of an already pitiful penance. People were cheats and rip offs and Dede is no more of a match for such a system than a newborn babe.
Jurgis could not understand why the men are so bitter and felt as if they has been works to the ground. His fellow workers hats the meat packers. Within a few days of getting his job, Dede came back as bitter and worn out as any other man. He is forces to put spoils meats and parts of the meat deems unsuitable into the meats going out into the public. He is working in toxic wastes that began to eat his feet alive and left him with long coughing spells that produces blood. Still, he wants to work, to contribute and make sure the family is not drove to ruin. He could only give the few dollars he made.
They say ignorance is bliss and in the novel, sometimes the ignorance is the bliss. Dede Antanas is ignorant to the fact; he is not getting his jobs back or getting out of his deathbed at all.. He thinks that his coughing attacks would cease and he would go back to work. Jurgis pays people to tell his father that his position is safe; when, in fact, he has long lost his job with Durham. When Dede dies, he dies happy, believing that whenever he got out of that bed, he would be able to work right back into a job and help the family. He is one of the few to die in happiness.
Jurgis has believes so hard in the system he knows little about. the system has taken the life of his father and works him to his death bed. The true nature of the meat packers is quickly surfacing to the top."When the Irish delegate of the butcher-helpers' union came to him a second time, he receives him in a far different spirit," he felt like fighting for his rights as he saw more injustice surrounding the factory. He convinces his fellow family members to join and Marija did.
Marija is working in a beef canning factory. She has joins ten days before her plant is closes. In their ignorance, they did not realize that there is going to be a lax season. She has saves what few dollars she could but it is never enough. Marija ignits with a burning fire."They could not understand why the union has not prevents it, and the very first time she attends a meeting Marija got up and made a speech about it" Jurgis faith in the system is coming down upon his head. Still, he is ignorance and he acts in such ways it plainly shows.
Jurgis has made a terrible decision, Jurgis decides to hit Ona's foreman for making her dishonor his marriage bed. Ona is working in a ham-packing place. Her forewoman is a madam and in order for Ona and her family to keep all their jobs, she has to sleep with Phil Connors, the boos. While Sinclair uses such a dry explanation for it, the language still hits you emotionally. Jurgis, in a fit of rage, decides to hit a boss. He storms out of the house and finds Phil Connors. Once again, the ignorance that Jurgis has shines. Ona knows, the rest of the whole family knows, all the readers knows what the consequences would be but Jurgis himself.
Thus Jurgis is sentences to thirty days in jail. Even in jail, ignorance surrounds Jurgis. He did has the money to pay for the adds “Court costs,” he has to work for three more days.
Jurgis ruins his family, moving them to losing their house, jobs and forcing them to move back to the garret. His ignorance drove his family to ultimate disgrace and ruin.
Phil Connors is not just a boss, he is in line to become a politician. Jurgis gains some knowledge through the experience. The knowledge that life is hard in America. He is blacklists; his whole family turns into the streets including his pregnant wife. Because of the overwhelming ignorance he has choose to show, Ona dis. they did not has the money for a doctor and by the time the midwife arrives, Ona is already halfway gone.
After Ona dis, Jurgis threw himself more into his work, still ignorance follows him. He works in a steel factory, where he burnt his hand really bad helping a fellow worker. He is sent away with no pay and not even a thank you. Knowledge is something that Jurgis did not seem to be to apply. he knows at the killing beds that it is every man for himself, yet he lams himself. Luckily, Elzbieta got a job cleaning floors at the meat packers head quarters. Jurgis son has dis, he decides to leave them to fend for themselves.
Jurgis grew knowledgeable as he left for the country side. He knows he wants nothing to tie him down. He wants to be free and live accordingly so: he took the odd end jobs to make money; he stole when has to; begs when he has and learns to do a combination of both. Jurgis thought he is living the life. He has a sum of money and he lost it all in one night. Jurgis ignorant mistakes come back into play.
Jurgis soon returns to Chicago and his ignorance came out once again. The best thing to be said at least he weighs the option and took the least smartest. Jurgis has been entertains by a rich gentleman and the man has given him a hundreds dollar bill. Jurgis is drunk and went to a bar to change it. He has just got out of underground railroad accident and is a sight to see. He ends up in jail after making a very public deal about not getting the correct change.
However, in jail is where Jurgis gains knowledgeable traits. After he got out, he went into a life of crime that eventually got him a foreman position in those same killing beds in which he has been blacklists from. He lost it all because he wants another shot at Phil Connors, he is once again thrust back into the streets. Ignorance is one reason someone would go after a future mayor. Once again, Jurgis feelings and ignorance got the best of him.
Sinclair uses ignorance in many vibrant ways. "No," she answers, "I don't blame you. We never has any of us. You did your best the job is too much for us." She pauses a moment, then adds: "we were too ignorant that is the trouble. We didn't stand any chance. If I'd known what I know now, we'd has won out." Marija realizes the ignorance they all has. ignorance in thinking they can make it in a system designs for them to do the exact opposite.
She is there through the struggle and has turns into a whore. She decides to sell her body to provide meals for the children and Elzbieta. She uses the knowledge that she has something that is valuable and when people were as poor as they were, they were to sell whatever they can to stay alive. She sold her soul and body, yes but because she did, it made her a wiser person. She realizes their mistake in the first place. They were too ignorance and too gullible to survive the cruel world of America. Marija new found knowledge shone the best when she refuses to give Jurgis any money knowing he would drink it up.
The characters' in the story are a bit flat but the message pushed by Sinclair is vivid enough for anyone to grasp. The ignorance that people came to America in and the cruel way America treats them. If they miss one house payment, they were turns out into the cold streets. There were few places one could go to for help. So children is turns out to the streets as parents went away to try to make a way for themselves. Some parents tries to make it with the children but more often than not they starves. Ignorance is as rampant as the rats and it shown.
America thrives on the ignorance of its people. America is still the same cruel place. America has extends the deadlines but if a family misses enough payments, America turn them out into the streets to fend for themselves. America tends to keep the public in the dark. Even more frightening, America misses vital warning signs and the effect it has on the public is harmful. America banks on the ignorance of its people. It banks on the fact that poor immigrates would not read the fine print and understand all the hidden charges which they has to pay or lose their houses. It banks that the wages were so low that they would not be able to keep afloat.
Sometimes, as one reads the book, one wonders why Upton wrote such a tale. Those with background information know that the book single handily cut meat consumption in the country. People investigates the meat packers and forces them to give healthy meats. It set in action the FDA. More importantly, he wrote a classic that is repeats in very generation. He saw a ongoing struggle no one has yet found a cure too. The mind can easily see people really were as ignorant as he writes. Some people wonder why the book is taught in high schools. There is a really good excellent answer to a question such as It is a tale that can easily relate able to any age. If one imagines a Mexican family as Jurgis family, it is the same, with better meat.