Sinclair uses Jurgis’ character and his family as a way to show the horrible conditions and treatment of the low-class people in America during the 1900's, The Jungle also helped establish the Meat Inspection Act and the Poor Food and Drug Act. Jurigs’ first job in the novel was to sweep the entrails of slaughtered cattle through trap doors, which was a disgusting and unsanitary task. He then settles for the undesirable job of working in the fertilizer mill. At this point in the story Jurgis’ wife, Ona, has told him that her boss, Mr.Connor, made her sleep with him in order to keep her job, Jurgis then goes and punches Mr.Connor for assaulting his wife, Ona then gets fired and Jurgis cannot get job in Packingtown for hitting one the town’s main men.
After the death of Jurgis’ wife and children, he then leaves town and finds work on a farm, but only for the short period of two weeks. Jurgis returns to Chicago in the fall because the cold weather is upon him. He finds a job digging underground tunnels for railway freight. The purpose of the tunnels is to break the power of the union, though Jurgis remains unaware of this goal for a year. He is confident that the job will last all winter and spends his money on alcohol. Unfortunately, he suffers an accident and breaks his arm on the job, he then spends Christmas in the hospital and after two weeks, he is taken out of the hospital. Since it is the middle of winter, he attends a religious revival with other homeless people just to stay warm (he cannot stand the men preaching at the revival since he feels they have no right to talk about something they have never experienced themselves).
At this point in the story Jurgis has hit rock bottom and is reduced to becoming a mugger to basically “survive”, he feels bad for doing this, but later has no sympathy for the victims. ”Bush” Harper introduces Jurgis to Mike Scully, a wealthy and corrupt democrat (who throws the election to the Republicans, to guarantee a later win). Scully then wants Jurgis to take a job in