By: Upton Sinclair
Ona and Jurgis are getting married and they live in Chicago. They live in Packington which is a city known for their meat packing industry, while there they see pins filled with different types of livestock. Tuberculosis is a common disease that is going around during this time, and some of the animals are skipped from inspection and continue on into the meat process with this disease. Jurgis is employed in the meat packing factory but starts his position low by cleaning up the mess that is left on the factory floor. He works hard for his family, and sacrifices the smell and work because he has a job and payment coming in compared to other men who are jobless and poor. Everyone in the family from father, wife, to grandfather, even children of young age, are determined to look for a job, but are disappointed after they hear that yes you can get hired a job but in return you have to give back some of your wages to maintain and keep that job. They are told by a family friend that this common and currently goes on throughout Packingtown’s. The family is tricked into buying a house that is poorly made, and they are under the terms of a rental. The people who tricked them manipulate these people by not telling them the details about interest, rental/buy, and that if they don’t pay their monthly rent they will be evicted and lose all the money they have paid into it. On top of this disappointment, their wedding they had previously celebrated has already put them in debt along with family members getting sick on a daily basis. Family members are either fired from their jobs due to the factories closing or killed by disease, hunger, or the weather. During this era, labor unions are created which preach for better working conditions, 8 hour work days along with better wages. Jurgis enters into the union, only to get tricked into a voting scheme and learns about the little secrets of the...