"The Jungle: A Story of Chicago" - Upton Sinclair - Appeal to Reason
Promotional Piece I-"The Crowning Achievement of the Appeal" - "The Jungle: A Story of Chicago" - Upton Sinclair - Appeal to Reason
"It will be the most powerful story ever written. It will be the Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Socialist movement. It will touch the heart strings of the people as they have never been touched before."
"It will set forth the breaking of human hearts in a system which exploits the labor of men and women for profits. It will shake the popular heart and blow the top off of the industrial tea-kettle. What Socialism there will be in this book, will, of course, be imminent; it will be revealed by incidents--there will be no sermons. The novel will not have any superficial resemblance to 'Uncle Tom's Cabin.' Fundamentally it will be identical with it—or try to be. It will show the 'system working.' It will show Graft in its thousand forms at work slaughtering women and children. Its themes will be the everyday ones of bread and butter; it will have incidents and adventures—a life and death struggle, and a heart-breaking tragedy—the tragedy of life. . . ."
"Marija was too eager to see that others conformed to the proprieties to consider them herself. She had left the church last of all, and, desiring to arrive first at the hall, had issued orders to the coachman to drive faster. When that personage had developed a will of his own in the matter, Marija had flung up the window of the carriage, and, leaning out, proceeded to tell him her opinion of him, first in Lithuanian, which he did not understand, and then in Polish, which he did."
"As previously announced, the second chapter of "The Jungle" will be printed next week—No. 484—thus giving an interval of two weeks between the publication of the first chapter and the second. This was done in order that the names of the new subscribers could be put on the mailing list in time to receive the second chapter. This putting on of new names is a big job—especially true at this time when the new names are beginning to roll into the office in a flood. . . ."
"There were twelve in all in the party, five adults and six children—and Ona, who was a little of both. They had a hard time of the passage: there was an agent who helped them, but he proved a scoundrel, and got them into a trap with some officials, and cost them a good deal of their precious money, which they clung to with such horrible fear. This happened to them again in New York—for, of course, they knew nothing about the country, and had no one to tell them, and it was easy for a man in a blue uniform to lead them away, and to take them to a hotel and keep them there, and make them pay enormous charges to get away."
"Jokubas was an old-time resident, and all these wonders had grown up under his eyes, and he had a personal pride in them. The packers might own the land, but he claimed the landscape, and there was no one to say nay to this."
"It was a sweltering day in July, and the place ran with steaming hot blood—one waded in it on the floor. The stench was almost overpowering, but to Jurgis it was nothing. His whole soul was dancing with joy—he was at work at last! He was at work and earning money!"
"The pace they set here, it was one that called for every faculty of a man—from the instant the first steer fell till the sounding of the noon whistle, and again from half past twelve till Heaven only knew what hour in the late afternoon or evening, there was never one instant's rest for a man, for his hand or his eye, or his brain."
"The details came gradually. In the first place as to the house they had bought, it was not new at all, as they had supposed; it was about fifteen years old, and there was nothing new upon it but the paint, which was so bad that it needed to be put on new every year or two. The house was one of a whole row that was built by a company which existed to make money by swindling poor people."
"They were over a hundred dollars in debt, and all things not yet counted. It was a bitter and cruel experience, and it left them plunged in an agony of despair. Such a time of all times for them to have it, when their hearts were made tender! Such a pitiful beginning it was for their married life; they loved each other so, and they could not have the briefest respite!"
"It was the holiday rush that was over, the girls said, in answer to Marija's inquiries; after it there was always a slack. Sometimes the factory would start up on half time after a while, but there was no telling—it had been known to stay closed until way into the summer. The prospects were bad at present, for truckmen who worked in the storerooms said that these were piled up to the ceilings, so that the firm could not have found room for another week's output of cans.:
"Out in the stockyards they were all Irishmen, and rated a Slav of any sort as lower than a yellow dog. They would curse at him and kick him; they would search him on the street, or break into his own house, if they felt like it, and if he protested, like as not they would crack his head open. And if that did not shut him up they would drag him to the station-house and lock him in, and he might stay there two or three days without any one's knowing where he was."
"Perhaps the summertime suggests to you thoughts of the country, visions of green fields, and mountains, and sparkling lakes. It had no such suggestions for the people in the yards. The great packing machine ground on remorselessly, without thinking of green fields; and the men and women and children who were part of it were not supposed to think of them either."
"Trimming beef off the bones by the hundred weight, while standing up from early morning till late at night, with heavy boots on and the floor ankle-deep in blood, liable to be thrown out of work indefinitely because of a slackening in the trade, liable again to be kept overtime in rush seasons, and be worked till she trembled in every nerve and lost her grip on her slimy knife, and gave herself a poisoned wound—that was the new life that unfolded itself before Marija."
"But let no one suppose that this superfluity of employees meant easier work for anyone! On the contrary, the speeding-up seemed to be growing more savage all the time; they were continually inventing new devices to crowd the work on—it was for all the world like the thumb-screw of the mediaeval torture chamber."
"A time of peril on the killing-floor was when a steer broke loose. In the killing of the cattle at Anderson's they had, of course, no thought save of speed. In the slaughter houses of Europe, where there are laws, they fit over the head of the animal a leather cap having a nail in it; then, provided the knocker had only skill enough to hit the nail with a big malet, he cannot fail to kill the animal."
"But perhaps the worst consequences of this long siege was that they lost another member of their family; Brother Jonas disappeared. One Saturday night he did not come home, and thereafter all their efforts to get trace of him were futile. It was said by the boss at Anderson's that he had gotten his week's money and left there."
"Little Kotrina was like most children of the poor, prematurely made old; she had to take care of her little brother and sister, both of them criplles, and also of the baby, and of Jurgis. She had to cook all the meals, and wash the dishes and clean house, and then have supper in the evening ready when the workers came home in the evening. She was only thirteen, and small for her age, but she did all this without a murmur, and did it beautifully."
"And now he died. Perhaps it was the smoked sausage he had eaten that morning which may have been made out of some of the tuberculous pork that is taken out at the bottom of the tank. At any rate, an hour after eating it the child had begun to cry with pain and in another hour he was rolling about on the floor in convulsions."
"Ona had now been working in the ham-wrapping room for two years, and every day during that time she had been half expecting what now happened, when the forelady came and told her that her services were no longer needed. Ona stood still, quite white about the lips; she caught at her breath two or three times, and then managed to gasp out an inquiry as to what she had done."
"They were beaten; they had lost the game; they were swept aside. It was not less tragic because it was so sordid, because that it had to do with wages and grocery bills and rents. They had dreamed of freedom; of a chance to look about them and learn something; to be decent and clean, to see their child grow up to be strong. And now it was all gone—it would never be."
"A day or two before Thanksgiving day there came a snow-storm. It began in the afternoon, and by evening two inches had fallen. Jurgis tried to wait for his wife, but went into a saloon to get warm, and took two drinks, and came out and ran home to escape from the demon; there he lay down to wait for her, and instantly fell asleep."
"There came one of those hysterical crises that had so often dismayed him. Ona sobbed and wept, her fear and anguish building themselves up into long climaxes. Furious gusts of emotion would come sweeping over her, shaking her as the tempest shakes the trees upon the hills; all her frame would quiver and throb with them—it was as if some dreadful thing rose up within her and took possession of her, torturing her, tearing her."
A Night in the Packingtown Jail
"At first he was like a wild beast that has glutted itself; he was in a dull stupor of satisfaction. He had done up the scoundrel pretty well—not as well as he would have if they had given him a minute more, but still pretty well; the ends of his fingers were still tingling from their contact with the fellow's throat."
Jurgis Spends Christmas Behind the Bars
"Here they searched Jurgis, leaving him only his money, which consisted of fifteen cents. Then they led him to a room and told him to strip for a bath; after which he had to walk down a long gallery, past the grated cell-doors of the inmates of the jail. This was a great event to the latter—the daily review of the new arrivals—all stark naked—and many and diverting were the comments."
The Underworld in Chicago
"Naturally, the aspect of prison life was changed for Jurgis by the arrival of a cell-mate. He could not turn his face to the wall and sulk, he had to speak when he was spoken to; nor could he help being interested in the conversation of Duane—the first educated man with whom he had ever talked."
The Wilderness of Civilization
"Jurgis had had enough to eat in the jail, and the work had been the least trying of any that he had done since he came to Chicago; but even so, he had not grown strong—the fear and grief that had preyed upon his mind had worn him thin. Now he shivered and shrunk from the rain, hiding his hands in his pockets and hunching his shoulders together."
The Workingman's Home ...
"Jurgis's brain was so in a whirl that he could not grasp the situation. It was as if his family had been wiped out of existence; as if they were proving to be dream people, who never had existed at all. He was quite lost—but then suddenly he thought of Grandmother Majauszkis, who lived on the next block. She would know! He turned and started at a run."
"Madame Haupt was pointing her cooking-fork at Jurgis persuasively; but her words were more than he could bear. He flung up his hands with a gesture of despair and turned and started away. "It's no use," he exclaimed—but suddenly he heard the woman's voice behind him again."
"Jurgis went without a word, and stepping over half a dozen sleeping boarders in the next room, ascended the ladder. It was dark up above; they could not afford any light; also it was nearly as cold as out doors. In a corner, as far away from the corpse as possible, sat Marija, holding little Antanas in her one good arm and trying to soothe him to sleep."
"It was quite a story. Little Juozapas, who was near crazy with hunger these days, had gone out on the street to beg for himself. Juozapas had only one leg, having been run over by a wagon when a little child, but he had got himself a broomstick, which he put under his arm for a crutch. He had fallen in with some other children and found the way to Tom Cassidy's dump, which lay three or four blocks away."
"When Jurgis had first came to the stockyards he had been as clean as any workingman could well be—on Saturday nights he had never failed to scrub out his kitchen sink and plug it up and take a bath. But later on, what with sickness and cold and hunger and discouragement, and the filthiness of his work, and the vermin in his home, Jurgis had given up washing in winter, and in summer only as much of him as would go into a basin. He had had a showerbath in jail, but nothing since—and now he would have a swim!"
"It was in a newly-opened cut that Jurgis worked, and so he knew that he had an all-winter job. He was so rejoiced that he treated himself to a spree that night, and with the balance of his money he hired himself a place in a tenement-room, where he slept upon a big home-made straw mattress along with four other working-men."
"They had started down the street, arm in arm, the young fellow pushing Jurgis along, half dazed. Jurgis was trying to think what to do—he knew he could not pass any crowded place with his new acquaintance without attracting attention and being stopped. It was only because of the falling snow that people who passed here did not notice anything wrong."
"A second later a policeman dashed in, and the bartender yelled once more—"Look out for his knife!" Jurgis had fought himself half to his knees, when the policeman made a leap at him, and cracked him across the face with his club. Though the blow staggered him, the wild beast frenzy still blazed in him, and he got to his feet, lunging into the air. Then again the club descended, full upon his head, and he dropped like a log to the floor."
"And so Jurgis got a glimpse of the high-class criminal world of Chicago. A city nominally ruled by the people, but in reality administered by a business oligarchy, a huge army of graft was necessary for the purpose of effecting the transfer of power."
"The point of view of the men Jurgis heard gone over and over by the speakers at his union meetings. Some of these men had worked in Packingtown for thirty years; they had helped to build up the business, they said, and they had a right to some consideration, and to a living out of it. And since by this time it was perfectly clear that the packers did not mean to give it to them, it was time they set about taking it."
"The sanitary arrangements in the packing-houses had always been grossly inadequate; and now the corners of every room where meat was being prepared were reeking with the stench of human filth. The mayor was boasting that he put an end to gambling and prize-fighting in the city; while here a swarm of professional gamblers had leagued themselves with the police to fleece the strike-breakers; and any night, in the big open space in front of Smith's, one might see brawny negroes stripped to the waist and pounding each other for money, under the eyes of policemen, while a howling throng of three or four thousand surged about, men and women, young white girls from the country rubbing elbows with big buck negroes with daggers in their boots, while rows of woolly heads peered down from every window of the surrounding factories."
"Just about this time one of the Chicago newspapers, which made a great fuss over the "common people," opened a "free-soup" kitchen for the benefit of the unemployed. Some people said that they did this for the sake of the advertising it gave them, and some others said that the motive which influenced them was a fear lest all their readers should be starved off; but whatever the motive, the soup was thick and hot, and there was a bowl for every man, all night long."
A Statement Concerning a Publication Plan
"If the book has to be published by a capitalist concern its price will be fixed at a dollar and a half, postage extra, and this price you will have to pay if you wish to own a copy of it. The profits of the book store and the jobber, the traveling salesman and the publisher, the author and the reviewer (in the form of advertising), the printer, the binder and the paper trust—all these you will have to furnish, and furnish to the end of time."
Note on Publication II and Final Part-"The Jungle: A Story of Chicago" - Upton Sinclair - Appeal to Reason
A Tale of the "Beef Trust"
"When he came home that night he was in a very sombre mood; having begun to see at last how those might be right who had laughed at him for his faith in the packers, and in America, telling him that he was in the employ, not of honest merchants, but of knaves and public enemies."
"I have received an offer from a publishing house of the highest standing, which is willing to bring out the book on my own terms; but I am still clinging to the hope of keeping it in my own hands. As the plates will be of service, no matter what arrangement is made, I have gone ahead with this important part of the work, and it will be half done when this statement appears."