Summary and Analysis
With his newfound faith and fire, Jurgis goes to see Elzbieta. She is not interested in his politics but notices the spark of industry in his eyes and tolerates his rhetoric. Soon Jurgis finds a job as a porter at a hotel, a hotel that, coincidentally, is a political hotbed of socialism. The proprietor of the hotel, Tommy Hinds, and his staff educate Jurgis and others in the ways and means of socialism. Gradually, socialism becomes the root of Jurgis' existence.
Jurgis is like any new convert: He is fanatical about his new belief. socialism becomes the answer to all of life's problems. From a literary perspective, this chapter is too contrived: Jurgis just happens to find employment at a hotel whose proprietor is one of the leaders of the socialist movement. Throughout The Jungle chance has played a major part in the events of Jurgis' life, but only after Jurgis embraces socialism does a chance encounter end up benefiting him.
Sinclair also refers to the newspaper Appeal to Reason, rightfully acknowledging it as a propaganda paper. Later, Sinclair claims that the Appeal could be serious, but he does not afford a way for readers to distinguish between the two. This mirrors a problem with The Jungle itself. The fictional accounts gloss over the seriousness of the novel, resulting in a piece of propaganda rather than an enduring literary accomplishment.
Trojan here alluding to the Greek legend of the Trojan horse, a huge, hollow wooden horse Greek soldiers hid in then left at the gates of Troy; the Trojans brought the horse into the city, and the soldiers crept out and opened the gates to the rest of the Greek army, which destroyed the city of Troy.
Octopus reference to the novel The Octopus, written by Frank Norris, in which farmers fought against the railroad monopoly.
recalcitrant hard to handle or deal with.
unregenerate not converted to a particular belief or viewpoint.
paternalism the principle or system of governing or controlling a country or group of employees in a manner suggesting a father's relationship with his children.