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In Chapter Seven, Sinclair uses Chicago’s brutal weather as a metaphor for the family’s growing difficulty and as a chance to foreshadow their demise. The weather is described in both realistic and metaphorical terms. As an example of realism, the cold rain of December causes severe illness in Ona. This begins her physical hardships, which directly cause her emotional and mental hardships. As a metaphor, Sinclair describes the way in which the weather kills the blooming trees and flowers of summer. The blooming foliage represents the dream of Jurgis and the family. The weather represents the general conditions that cause the family’s demise.