Summary: chapter 1

Around the revolve of the twenty century, Ona Lukoszaiteand Jurgis Rudkus, two Lithuanian immigrants who have recently arrived inChicago, room being married. They hold their veselija, orwedding feast, follow to Lithuanian custom. The solemn event takesplace in a hall near the Chicago stockyards in an area that the cityknown together Packingtown because it is the facility of the meat-packingindustry. Food, beer, and music to fill the hall. Adhering to Lithuaniantradition, hungry human being lingering in the doorway room invited insideto eat your fill. The musician play badly but, amid the generalfestivity, no one seems to mind.

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The highlight of the celebration event is the acziavimas: theguests, linking their hands, kind a rotating circle when the musiciansplay; the bride stands in the middle and each masculine guest takes a turndancing with her. ~ the dance, each masculine guest is intended todrop money into a hat, held by Teta Elzbieta, Ona’s stepmother.Each provides according to his means, helping the newlyweds pay forthe veselija, which can cost upward of 3 hundreddollars—more than a year’s salaries for numerous of the guests.

Many unscrupulous guest take benefit of the familiesof the newlyweds at these celebrations, however, pour it until it is full themselveswith food and drink and leaving there is no contributing any kind of money.Some leave with open up contempt while others sneak away. Often, the saloon-keepercheats households on the beer and liquor, claiming that the guestsconsumed an ext than they in reality did. Often, they offer the worstswill they have after the family members have bargained for a certainquality that alcohol in ~ a solved price. The immigrants quickly learn notto antagonize this barmen due to the fact that they space often linked withpowerful district politicians. The moral guests and also friends that thenewlyweds be afflicted with the greater burden that the price owing to the predatorswho attend.

Noticing the many world are leaving without paying,Ona becomes frightened and also worried about the expense of the ceremony,but Jurgis promises that they will find some method to salary the bill.He vows the he will just work harder and earn more money. Thecelebration is overshadowed through the expertise that most of the menwho room lucky sufficient to have actually jobs have to report come work early on in the morning.If a worker is one minute late, he loses an hour’s pay; if the istwenty minutes late, he loser his job. Getting fired method waiting forhours in entry for approximately weeks in ~ a time to obtain an additional job.In Packingtown, men, women, and also children alike job-related grueling hoursfor the most paltry the wages.

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Summary: thing 2

The narrator sketches background information around Jurgisand his family. Young and also powerfully built, Jurgis concerned Chicagofrom the rural countryside of Lithuania. In Lithuania, Ona’s fatherdied, leaving his household troubled by debt. They shed their farmand had little in cash savings. They spoke of travel to America,where the wages were lot higher. Ona walk not desire to leave hersiblings or Teta Elzbieta behind. Teta Elzbieta’s brother Jonasknew that a man who made a happiness in America, motivating the familyto occupational to do the trip possible. Jurgis operated for months to savemoney to assist pay because that the expense of the voyage. His father, Dede Antanas, resolvedto go through his son and Ona’s family. Marija Berczynskas, Ona’s cousin,joined the household after experiencing the abuse of an unkind employerin she homeland. She reckoned the her an effective physique would certainly earnher more money and respect in America. Jurgis and his expanded family,twelve in all, fell prey to miscellaneous con artists in Lithuania andAmerica. By the time they got to Chicago after landing in new York,their save of savings had dwindled.

By a punch of luck, Jonas spies the delicatessen the JokubasSzedvilas, the Lithuanian male whom he claimed had do a fortune. Jokubasowns a delicatessen in Chicago but, rather than living choose a king,he is enduring financial troubles. The directs Jonas and also the familyto a miserable, overcrowded boardinghouse operation by one impoverishedwidow, wherein they take up residence. Jurgis and also Ona go for a walkthrough their new neighborhood. The stench the rotting animal fleshand pet excrement, in addition to billowing smoke, fills the air.Children pick through the nearby garbage dump. Lot of the landsurrounding the stockyards is “made land,” or to fill dumps wherebuildings have actually now been constructed. After gazing in ~ Packingtownin the distance for a couple of moments, Jurgis guarantees to “go thereand gain a job!”