The Jungle

Describe how various types of people suffer under the capitalist system, according to the speaker, and then contrast their experiences with those of the business owners.

chapter 28.

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The speaker tells of how the workingmen of the Chicago are oppressed and believe that there is nothing they can do to escape the harsh conditions they face. He tells of how women must prostitute themselves to survive and how the institutions of the city, such as government, industry, and churches, do nothing to help. He tells of how children face desperation and starvation.

Jurgis is “trembling [and] smitten with wonder” by this speaker, and everyone in the hall cheers and then is silent as the man continues his speech. The man tells the crowd that a person can be “delivered from his self-created slavery” and that the systems of degradation will never again ensnare him. He goads the crowd into taking action here in Chicago. He tells them that they must rise up against the thousands of people that “do nothing to earn what they receive,” those masters of industry who live in palaces and luxury while their workers starve. The speaker tells the crowd that they must speak with the “voice of Labor, despised and outraged; a mighty giant, lying prostrate.”