The Jungle

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The Jungle Chapter 30 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After waking and eating breakfast at Ostrinski's, Jurgis finds Teta Elzbieta and tells her about his political awakening. Elzbieta is too pragmatic to get caught up in the lofty ideals that have captivated Jurgis. However, she shrewdly decides that Socialism will keep her son-in-law responsible and help him support the family, and even attends some of the political meetings.
Although Elzbieta is not as ideologically fervent as Jurgis, she still recognizes that the movement will help her son-in-law. In other words, socialism offers real-world benefits of sobriety, dedication to fellow men and family, in addition to more abstract, ideological ones.
Themes
Labor Rights and Socialism Theme Icon
Jurgis gets work as a porter at a small hotel, which pays thirty dollars a month with board. He proudly tells Ostrinski of his employment, and Ostrinski tells him that his boss, Tommy Hinds, is in fact a state organizer of the socialist party and a tireless proponent of socialism. Years battling Chicago graft have taught Hinds that capitalist greed must be destroyed, and Hinds's hotel is a center for socialist propaganda—the patronage of radicals is what keeps it in business. Hinds and Jurgis, excited by their common political fervor, refer to one another as "comrade."
Thanks to socialism, Jurgis has found a job that is meaningful to him. His professional relationship with Tommy Hinds is not an extortive or oppressive one; rather, it is one between two "comrades." The relationship also seems to signify that socialism can help to forge bond across socioeconomic levels, as Hinds (an owner) and Jurgis (a worker) here bond in common cause.
Themes
Labor Rights and Socialism Theme Icon
Hinds asks Jurgis to tell his revolting stories of the packing industry to inform others about the horrors of "the System." Jurgis's appalling accounts of filth, and his knowledge of the disgusting recipes used by the industry, help Hinds persuade others of the beneficial changes Socialism can bring.
Hinds genuinely values Jurgis's life experiences—another unprecedented quality in an employer. Jurgis is something of a poster child for the benefits of socialism and the horrors of unchecked capitalism.
Themes
The Horrors of the Meatpacking Industry Theme Icon
Labor Rights and Socialism Theme Icon
Jurgis is intensely committed to serving Tommy Hinds and spreading the socialist message. He is so enthusiastic about the cause that he has trouble understanding how anyone could resist his calls to action, and he is exasperated when his attempts to convert new socialists sometimes fail. Nonetheless, Jurgis continues to serve the movement, and deepens his involvement by reading pamphlets and newspapers, educating himself about the American governmental system, and attending political meetings whenever he can. He follows The Appeal to Reason, a socialist propaganda newspaper that serves as a primary source of information for socialists.
His dedication to the socialist cause inspires Jurgis to better himself in ways he had not earnestly attempted before, like reading regularly, learning more deeply about the workings of America, and engaging in the political process.
Themes
Labor Rights and Socialism Theme Icon
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Jurgis even returns to Packingtown to distribute the papers, undoing the political work he had done there for Mike Scully the previous year. Soon, support swells in Packingtown, and the socialist candidate seems poised to defeat Scully's candidate in the upcoming election.
Through socialism, Jurgis makes amends for the wrongs he committed as a corrupt grafter. What's more, Jurgis's activism sows the seeds for significant change in Packingtown.
Themes
Labor Rights and Socialism Theme Icon