Economic, Political, Social?
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The packinghouses hire more men during the summer months, but they pay each one less. This is so that if some of the men go on strike, the others will be trained to take their places. Thus, Jurgis has more work but brings home less pay. The summer turns into fall, which again brings winter. Jurgis knows that Ona cannot face another hard winter, which means she might have to give up her job. Jurgis scrambles away from a steer and his foot becomes caught in the trap that collects the blood. He twists his ankle. Jurgis is devastated by his inability to work, and the family is secretly frightened. Jurgis feels helpless and becomes increasingly bitter.