The Jungle

How did child birth change Ona?

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chapter 10

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Ona gives birth to a baby boy. The baby looks just like Jurgis, and Jurgis is fascinated by the new life he has created. He has little time to see his child, however, because he must work all the time to support the family. Both Ona and Jurgis decide that the baby must grow up to be more prosperous than they had been in their lives. Ona must also go back to work only a week after giving birth. This quick return to strenuous labor causes her to have “womb-trouble,” which all the women of Packingtown suffer. She suffers pain in her body all day long, and only alcohol based “medicines” which give her the “phantom of good heath” give her any temporary relief. Ona is the first character for whom the mental and financial hardships of her life are manifested in a physical way. Almost all of the main characters of the novel progress in this way. The hardships pressed upon the family by an unjust society become true physical hardships