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The Jungle | Characters

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Character Description
Jurgis Jurgis, the novel's protagonist, is a Lithuanian immigrant who starts life in Chicago as an optimistic but exploited worker before becoming a career criminal and finally reforming as a socialist. Read More
Ona Ona is Jurgis's emotionally and physically fragile wife whom Jurgis is unable to protect from the world's cruelty. Read More
Marija Marija is Ona's strong and determined cousin, who fights tirelessly for what she wants in her life. Read More
Teta Elzbieta Teta Elzbieta is Ona's stepmother, who works diligently to keep the family together despite their continual losses. Read More
Stanislovas Stanislovas is Teta Elzbieta's eldest son, forced out of school and into work at a lard factory at the age of 13; his gruesome death later in the novel galvanizes Jurgis's faith in socialism. Read More
Antanas Antanas, the son of Jurgis and Ona, drowns in a puddle.
Pat Callahan Pat Callahan is the judge who sentences Jurgis after his attack on Phil Connor.
Phil Connor Phil Connor is Ona's boss who rapes her and forces her into prostitution; Jurgis is jailed for attacking him.
Dede Antanas Dede Antanas is Jurgis's father. He is exploited in the workplace and dies from the unsafe conditions at his job.
Jack Duane Jack Duane is a career criminal whom Jurgis meets during his stint in prison; Jack Duane introduces Jurgis to the criminal underworld, where the latter learns how to use the system of corruption to his advantage.
Fisher Fisher is a wealthy man from Chicago who hosts socialist meetings in his home.
Goldberger Goldberger is a fellow career criminal who offers advice to Jurgis and Jack Duane.
Buck Halloran Buck Halloran is a corrupt political "worker" who involves Jurgis in a fraud by having him collect pay from the city by posing as a number of different imaginary city workers.
Hamilton Hamilton is the butler who throws Jurgis out of Freddie Jones's mansion.
Harmon Harmon is a manager at Durham's who hires Jurgis on Scully's say-so, even though Jurgis has been "blacklisted."
"Bush" Harper "Bush" Harper is a former night-watchman at a meatpacking plant who appears to be a strong union man but actually reports to the owners about union activity in Packingtown.
Madame Haupt Madame Haupt is a greedy and slovenly midwife who attends to Ona during a difficult labor yet mercilessly demands full payment moments after Ona dies, showing how capitalism has corrupted the poor as well as the rich.
Miss Henderson Miss Henderson is Ona's boss at the meatpacking plant who ushers Ona into prostitution.
Tommy Hinds Tommy Hinds is the owner of the socialist hotel where Jurgis finds work at the end of the novel.
Alena Jasaityte Alena is Ona's friend from Packingtown who, at the end of the novel, gives Jurgis the brothel address where Marija is working.
Jonas Jonas, Ona's brother, encouraged the family to immigrate to Chicago; he disappears not long after arriving, and it's unclear whether he abandoned the family or fell victim to a workplace accident.
Freddie Jones Freddie Jones is the rich son of Jurgis's old boss; one night boozy Freddie gives Jurgis a hundred-doll bill and invites him home for a lavish dinner, during which he reveals absolute ignorance about the plight of the working poor.
Jouzapas Jouzapas is one of Teta Elzbieta's children who leads a settlement worker to visit with Teta Elzbieta after the worker finds him searching for food in the dump.
Aniele Jukniene Aniele Jukniene is a Lithuanian émigré in Packingtown; Mrs. Jukniene is a struggling entrepreneur who raises chickens and keeps far too many boarders in her filthy house.
Kotrina Kotrina is Teta Elzbieta's daughter who is forced out of school to care for the children. She is watching baby Antanas when he drowns.
Kristoforas Kristoforas is Teta Elzbieta's 3-year-old son who dies, possibly from eating poisoned sausage.
Tamoszius Kuszleika Tamoszius is a gifted fiddler who would like to marry Marija; when he loses his hand in an industrial accident, he can no longer play the fiddle and disappears from Marija's life.
Mr. Lucas Mr. Lucas is a socialist preacher who, at the end of the novel, argues that Christianity and socialism are similar.
Grandmother Majauszkiene Grandmother Majauszkiene is an elderly Lithuanian neighbor who informs Jurgis of the history of his house, which was billed as "new" but has actually been sold, and resold, out from under many unfortunate families before.
Jadvyga Marcinkus Jadvyga Marcinkus is Ona's friend from Packingtown with whom Ona says she is staying when she is actually working at the brothel.
Mr. Maynard Mr. Maynard is a journalist reporting on the meatpacking strike.
Mikolas Mikolas is Jadvyga's fiancé, a meat packer who has often been out of work due to blood poisoning caused by cutting himself with a knife at work.
Nikalojus Nikalojus is Teta Elzbieta's 10-year-old son who must leave school to sell newspapers on the street.
Mrs. Olszewski Mrs. Olszewski is a kindly neighbor who ignores her own poverty to help those in need (like Ona during her terrible labor).
Otrinski Otrinski is a poor Polish tailor and socialist who helps Jurgis understand socialism.
Nicholas Schliemann Nicholas Schliemann is the party guest at the end of the novel who gives a detailed description of socialism.
Mike Scully Mike Scully is the corrupt boss of the Democratic political machine that controls the stockyards and protects the interests of the owners who pay him off.
Jokubas Szedvilas Jokubas Szedvilas is a friend of Jonas whose supposed rags-to-riches story inspired the family's emigration; Szedvilas actually runs a struggling delicatessen in Packingtown.
Vilimas Vilimas is Teta Elzbieta's 11-year-old son who must leave school to sell newspapers on the street and is admonished by a truant officer.
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