The Jungle

How did Sinclair begin the story? What did the beginning accomplish?

Chapter 2

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Chapter Two begins the novel’s narrative by describing Jurgis Rudkus. Sinclair describes Jurgis’s character through physical traits. He is big and strong ,and the meat packing plant bosses quickly hire him. His physical characteristics influence his attitude towards other workers who are not as strong and not as enthusiastic about their work. Jurgis has a judgmental attitude towards these workers.

In this early chapter, Sinclair strikes a balance between portraying the difficulties of the immigrants’ move to America and the difficulties of life in Lithuania. Sinclair works here, however, not to idealize Eastern European life and to allow room for the validity of the American Dream.