The Jungle

Marija Berczynskas Character Analysis

Marija is Ona's strong, stubborn cousin who comes to America to seek work with the family. At first, Marija is unafraid to fight for her rights, and even loses her job in a cannery after standing up to an unscrupulous boss that tries to cheat her of her wages. However, financial hardship forces Marija to become a prostitute to support the family, and she becomes trapped by drug addiction and exploitative brothel owners. Her transformation from a strong-willed fighter into a cynical morphine addict symbolizes the way an unforgiving capitalist system erodes the immigrant spirit.

Marija Berczynskas Quotes in The Jungle

The The Jungle quotes below are all either spoken by Marija Berczynskas or refer to Marija Berczynskas. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Jungle published in 2001.
Chapter 6 Quotes

As in a flash of lightning they saw themselves—victims of a relentless fate, cornered, trapped, in the grip of destruction.

Related Characters: Jurgis Rudkus, Ona Lukoszaite, Marija Berczynskas, Teta Elzbieta Lukoszaite
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes

With one member trimming beef in a cannery, and another working in a sausage factory, the family had a first-hand knowledge of the great majority of Packingtown swindles. For it was the custom, as they found, whenever meat was so spoiled that it could not be used for anything else, either to can it or else to chop it up into sausage. With what had been told them by Jonas, who had worked in the pickle rooms, they could now study the whole of the spoiled-meat industry on the inside, and read a new and grim meaning into that old Packingtown jest—that they use everything of the pig except the squeal.

Related Characters: Jurgis Rudkus, Ona Lukoszaite, Marija Berczynskas, Teta Elzbieta Lukoszaite, Jonas
Related Symbols: Food
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 15 Quotes

It was all—it was their plot—Miss Henderson's plot. She hated me. And [Phil Connor]—he wanted me. He used to speak to me—out on the platform. Then he began to—to make love to me. He offered me money. He begged me—he said he loved me. Then he threatened me. He knew all about us, he knew we would starve. He knew your boss—he knew Marija's. He would hound us to death, he said—then he said if I would—if I —we would all of us be sure of work—always. Then one day he caught hold of me—he would not let go—he—he—

Related Characters: Ona Lukoszaite (speaker), Jurgis Rudkus, Ona Lukoszaite, Marija Berczynskas, Phil Connor, Miss Henderson
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes

They put him in a place where the snow could not beat in, where the cold could not eat through his bones; they brought him food and drink—why, in the name of heaven, if they must punish him, did they not put his family in jail and leave him outside—why could they find no better way to punish him than to leave three weak women and six helpless children to starve and freeze? That was their law, that was their justice!

Related Characters: Jurgis Rudkus, Ona Lukoszaite, Marija Berczynskas, Teta Elzbieta Lukoszaite, Antanas Rudkus
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 27 Quotes

"When people are starving," the other continued, "and they have anything with a price, they ought to sell it, I say. I guess you realize it now when it's too late. Ona could have taken care of us all, in the beginning." Marija spoke without emotion, as one who had come to regard things from the business point of view.

Related Characters: Marija Berczynskas (speaker), Ona Lukoszaite
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat

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Marija Berczynskas Character Timeline in The Jungle

The timeline below shows where the character Marija Berczynskas appears in The Jungle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...all ages, from babies to the elderly, fill the room, and Ona's loud, forceful cousin Marija presides over the festivities. (full context)
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Horrors of the Meatpacking Industry Theme Icon
The party goes late into the night and the remaining guests become drunk and exhausted. Marija refuses to let the party end, and so they continue till 3 in the morning,... (full context)
Chapter 2
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...Ona, and Jonas, embark for America with Jurgis's father, Ona's stepmother, Teta Elzbieta, Ona's cousin, Marija, and six children. (full context)
Chapter 4
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...entrails on the "killing beds" where cattle are slaughtered. Jonas has had several interviews and Marija gets a job painting cans in the canning factory, which she is very excited about.... (full context)
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...flat. They calculate that with their small savings and the wages of Jurgis, Jonas and Marija, they will be able to afford a home. (full context)
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
Marija, Ona, and Teta Elzbieta go to inquire about the houses for sale. The agent tricks... (full context)
Chapter 5
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
Marija sees an advertisement that offers home furnishings on an installment plan, and the family decides... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
The Horrors of the Meatpacking Industry Theme Icon
Marija and Jonas also make disturbing discoveries. Marija finds out that she is replacing an Irishwoman... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Tamoszius Kuszeika, the frail fiddle player from the wedding feast, and Marija fall in love. Tamoszius courts her, playing fiddle in the kitchen and taking her to... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
Labor Rights and Socialism Theme Icon
After the canning factory shuts down, Marija goes to a union meeting and causes an uproar by delivering an impassioned speech in... (full context)
Chapter 9
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Horrors of the Meatpacking Industry Theme Icon
...meat sold in other countries, making it fine to sell diseased meat within the country. Marija tells Jurgis about the grisly practices in the canning plant, in which diseased animals, covered... (full context)
Chapter 10
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
The Horrors of the Meatpacking Industry Theme Icon
Labor Rights and Socialism Theme Icon
Marija loses her job in the canning factory because she is headstrong and complains to the... (full context)
Chapter 11
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
Marija invests her money in a bank and joins a run on the bank. She misses... (full context)
Chapter 17
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
The Horrors of the Meatpacking Industry Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...to tell him that Ona is sick, the family is starving and facing eviction, and Marija's hand may require amputation after a cut became infected. Stanislovas was fired by his boss,... (full context)
Chapter 18
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...to hear Ona in agony—she is in the throes of premature childbirth. Over Ona's screaming, Marija somberly explains that a doctor or midwife would cost tens of dollars—much more than the... (full context)
Chapter 27
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...for herself, but has no money on her—instead, she tells Jurgis where he can find Marija. (full context)
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
As soon as Jurgis reaches Marija's building, it is raided by police. After seeing scantily-clad women and embarrassed men clamor past... (full context)
Chapter 28
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...police, his criminal past is undiscovered, and the judge lets him off with a warning. Marija receives a fine, which is paid by the brothel's proprietress. He goes back to the... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
Marija explains the brothel's extortive arrangements: although her earnings are decent, she is charged outrageous prices... (full context)
Chapter 31
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
Labor Rights and Socialism Theme Icon
...as Jurgis gets his job with Hinds, he goes back to the brothel to convince Marija to abandon prostitution. Marija sees no point in leaving: her drug addiction and tarnished past... (full context)