The Jungle

The Jungle

What does Jurgis notice when he returns home from prison?

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When Jurgis arrives at his house but is shocked to see that it no longer looks like his house. It has been painted, and the defects have been repaired. Jurgis must brace himself when a young boy he does not recognize comes out of the house. Jurgis asks the boy where his family is, and the boy gets his mother. The boy’s mother tells Jurgis that they only recently bought the house new and that no one had lived in the house before them. Jurgis is horrified, feeling as though “his family had been wiped out of existence; as if they were proving to be a dream people, who never existed at all.”

He stumbles his way to Grandmother Majauszkiene’s house and she tells him that his family was turned out because they could not pay the rent. They now lived with Aniele Jukniene. Jurgis staggers to her house and knocks on the door. When Aniele answers, Jurgis can hear the screams and moans of Ona in another room. He enters the house to find six women huddled around a stove. One is Marija, thin and bandaged on her arm, and she tells Jurgis that he must not go up to Ona. She is in labor. Jurgis tells her that this cannot be because it is two months early, but Marija tells her the baby is coming anyway. Jurgis is once again heartbroken.