Jurgis Rudkus, a burly young man from Lithuania, immigrants to America with his wife and extended family in hopes of a better future. Jurgis, hard-working and optimistic, quickly secures a job as a factory hand in the meatpacking district of Chicago, known as Packingtown. Initially, Jurgis knows little of the corruption and oppression which exist within Packingtown but soon experiences it first hand as poverty, hunger and loss weigh heavily on his family. Following the death of his wife and son, Jurgis leaves his remaining family and becomes involved in crime and political scandal. Eventually, Jurgis reconnects with his family and discovers socialism, a political ideology which rekindles his hopes for a future of equality and opportunity…show more content… Scully shows little concern for the well-being Chicago citizens and instead, favors the business interests of large companies.
Phil Connor, an acquaintance of Mike Scully, is Ona’s boss. He sexually assaults Ona and forces her into prostitution. Jurgis, enraged by Connor’s actions, attacks him two times in the course of the novel and ends up in jail.
Jack Duane is Jurgis’s cellmate during his first time in jail. He forms a friendship with Jurgis and later becomes his partner in crime. Jack is first to introduce Jurgis to the insider’s world of Chicago’s political corruption and scandal.
Nicholas Schliemann is a former philosophy professor and socialist party member who Jurgis meets at a party hosted by a man named Fisher, a Chicago millionaire. Schliemann serves as a character through which Sinclair can explain socialist ideology in depth, and voice his personal political support of socialism.
Jurgis, Ona, and their families decide to move from Lithuania to the U.S. in pursuit of a better life. Although they arrive with great optimism, their immigration marks the beginning of a perilous quest for survival in Chicago 's Packingtown.
Jurgis, Marija, and Jurgis’s father, Dede Antanas, set out to find work in Packingtown. Jurgis and Marija quickly find jobs and although Dede Antanas eventually does as well, he faces more difficulty doing so because of his old age. The jobs