Social Effects In The Jungle

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The early 20th century was a time when countless human beings not only struggled to support themselves, but they also struggled to support their family and loved ones. A lot of the work that was offered in the time period to all of the people was not paying enough money to make a living off of. This often left many people and families starving and homeless. The effect that this had on the characters in The Jungle, as well as the effect of people in real life, was extremely negative. Being financially unstable throughout the book concluded in major adaptation issues for the character in all aspects of the novel. According to Hana Layson and James R. Barrett, November and December in 1904, Sinclair “spent seven weeks in Chicago’s meatpacking…show more content…
During this time, there was a total of 163 saloons located in Chicago alone. It was “estimated that three thousand pass in and out between the hours of eight at night and six in the morning during Saturday nights” (Royal Melendy). A vast majority of the saloons supplied some of the basic necessities. These were items such as food supply for those whose home was in the street or for those residents of cheap lodging establishments. When men would come in to eat in the middle of their work day during their lunch breaks, “one hundred fifty to two hundred pounds of meat, one and one half to two bushels of potatoes, fifty loaves of bread, thirty five pounds of beans, forty five dozens of eggs on some days, ten dozen ears of sweet corn, one dollar and fifty cents to two dollars worth of vegetables” were consumed each and every day in the saloons. (Melendy). On days that lunch was not free, it is at least “thirty dollars to forty dollars” per day. (Melendy). In most of the saloons, the men, and sometimes even the women, were able to gain quick and easy money by gambling “with dice or a pack of greasy cards,” as well as, “play at a dingy pool table” (Sinclair 254). Men and women were charged five cents for the games that were offered. This was considered a very fair price back in the nineteen hundreds. People were also offered “a five-cent cigar, a box of cigarettes, or a soft drink” (Melendy). The saloons…show more content…
This ad was making the family very interested and the whole family begins to get excited over the fact that it was to be “bought for fifteen hundred dollars” (Sinclair 51). With multiple thoughts and idea running through everyone’s mind, the family had felt that the price for the house was considerately reasonable. The Lithuanian family soon came to a realization that twelve dollars is a little more than what they originally wanted to spend. The original amount that the family was willing to spend was only up to nine dollars a month. With this in mind, they came to the decision that the three dollar increase was worth paying to own the house. In this chapter, Jurgis is working very hard to pull off his own “American Dream.” He works seven long days a week. And to make everything more difficult for him and his family, following the long and stressful days, only to bring home around one dollar and seventy five cents a day. This meant that it would be very hard for him to make payments on time, or make them at all. During their first winter in the novel, the weather was extremely tough and made it hard for families. This meant that the pay that they received from their jobs would soon plummet. The family would be able to live and have “enough to live and a little over to pay their debts with” (Sinclair 114). The family was unfamiliar to the constant and unpredictable weather changes in

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