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Free Study Guide-The Jungle by Upton Sinclair-Free Book Summary Notes
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CHAPTER 24

Summary

Begging on the streets one night, an adventure befalls Jurgis. He happens to encounter a wealthy, drunken youth who enters into a unintelligible conversation with Jurgis. The young man, Freddie Jones is none other than the son of Jones, the packer. Freddie takes Jurgis to his mansion on Lake Shore Drive and also gives him a one hundred dollar bill.

The family butler is angered by Jurgis' presence, but he is afraid to displease his young master and does nothing. When Freddie learns that Jurgis has worked in the packing houses, he is thoroughly amused. Freddie leads Jurgis to the study and the two men drink together. Jurgis also polishes off an enormous meal. After a rambling conversation, Freddie dozes off. A dog guards Jurgis and does not allow him to move. Soon the butler enters and literally kicks Jurgis off the premises into the snow.


Notes

Once again, Sinclair employs dramatic dialogue to depict a significant event. Unlike his conversation with Ona, in which she confessed her "adultery," or even his brief interlude with the farmer who offered him seasonal work, the meeting of Jurgis and Freddie appears very contrived and hard to believe. The interaction between the two is completely lacking in conviction, and the reader could well find it hard to believe that Jurgis would chance upon such an implausible adventure. It appears that Sinclair has used this bit of patently fictitious fiction to give the reader a glance at how the "other half" lives and behaves. His aim also appears to be to prove that the capitalists have in some instances alienated even their children from themselves. Freddie seems to be a classic case of the poor little rich boy, thoroughly spoiled, speaking in the slang of the day and thumbing his nose at his father's social status by bringing a workingman home. The butler, on the other hand, though a member of the working class, identifies with his employer and is outraged at this breaking of class barriers. Ironically, however, he is unable to evict Jurgis until Freddie falls asleep, precisely because of class barriers and the canon of obeying the master, no matter what one privately thinks.

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