The Jungle

What happens in chapter one

Describe the atmosphere and mood in this chapter

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The novel begins at the wedding of Jurgis and Ona Rudkus. Marija Berczynskas, a strong and commanding woman, directs the wedding and Tamoszius Kuszleika provides music with his violin. Although Tamoszius's "notes are never true, and his fiddle buzzes on the low ones and squeaks and scratches on the high," he is the star of the wedding. Everyone in the slums of Packingtown is invited, and they are supposed to pay tribute to the family. Many do not, however, and this leaves Jurgis and Ona deeply in debt on the first day of their marriage.....

This scene sets the tone for the novel, combining a series of fictional events within the context of the real life of Lithuanian immigrants in early twentieth century Chicago. The mood is happy for the moment but filled with a sense of dread for the future. The Couple has little money and they are now in debt. Please see the GradeSaver site-link below for these excerpts.