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Although he never expected to get married himself, he met Ona, his future wife, at a horse fair and fell deeply in love. She is from a wealthy family, however, and her father did not approve of their marrying. Lovesick, Jurgis makes the one hundred mile trek from his home to her family’s estate to convince her father to let her marry. This reflects Sinclair's own very traditional "old school" views on courting and marriage.