The Character of Jurgid Rudkis in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

The Character of Jurgid Rudkis in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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The Character of Jurgid Rudkis in The Jungle


      There are often many sides to a person's personality.  Jurgis

Rudkis of Upton Sinclair's novel, The Jungle, is no exception.  Rudkis is a

very determined and caring person.  Conversely, he is also strickened with

cupidity.  He has both good and evil coexisting within him.


      Rudkis is a very determined and directed man.  He is always eager

to work.  He does not let anything stop him and is "confident in his

ability to get work for himself, unassisted by anyone(pg.35) ."  Aware that

he needed money, Rudkis does anything and everything to achieve his goals.

No matter what he must endure, he always manages to keep his head high and

keeps striving toward his dreams.  Rudkis's determination is also displayed

when he tries to make a good impression on his boss.  He proves he is not

lazy and "promptly reports for work in the morning(pg.46) ."


      Rudkis is also a caring man. His primary goal is to protect Ona,

and when he reaches America, he has every confidence he can do so.  He

works in terrible conditions and endures many hardships merely to keep her

happy.  When he lost his job, he earned mony immoraly.  He does not do this

for himself, but for the welfare of Ona and the family.  Eventhough he

inevidably fails, he does everything in his power to be an ideal husband.


      Rudkis, like many other good-hearted people, had to circumb to the

evil powers of greed.  He buys an expensive house that he could not afford.

He could settele for a house of lesser value that suits his needs just as

well, but he doesn't.  Eventhough he is somewhat conned into buying it, his

greed still convinced him.  Shortly after this, he is so eager to get more

money, that he starts to behave immoraly.  After he lost his job due to an

injury, he sinks into a life of crime as a foe of society.  He becomes a

mugger and a grafter.

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  He dupes fellow workers as an undercover operative

for the Democratic machine.  He helps break up a strike, then ends up in

jail.  He then became a homeless man.  His greedy side may have been the

cause of his downfall.


      People often behave differently at different times.  Jurgid Rudkis

was a complex man with many different aspects to his personality.  He was a

determined, caring, yet greedy person.  He, like many, had both a "good

side" and a "bad side."

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