By Michaela W
The policemen in Packingtown are very rude and insensitive. They don't care for the prisoners. For example, when a man who was recently arrested named Jurgis Rudkus, started to go down the wrong corridor, he got cursed at. Then the police kicked him when he wasn't going quick enough. It is said that no one would be surprised nor would it be unusual if a prisoner were to "accidentally" get his skull cracked open. They would lie and say that we was drunk and fell down. They policemen are liars and they do whatever to make themselves look good. There is also a rumor that if a policeman got angered by a prisoner, then a dozen policemen would attack him and pound him into a pulp. The Packingtown police are cruel, inconsiderate men who only care for themselves.
Men or Animals?
Men in Packingtown are basically animals. Their smell is equivalent to the smell of a sewer. Most of them are locked up in prison for countless crimes. They are trapped in a cage just like zoo animals. In fact, they are very similar to Noah's Ark because on Noah's Ark there are tons of different kinds of animals like how there are many different kinds of men who cause the city's crimes and are in prison. There is young and old, black and white, Americans and immigrants, and many more. Also the men of Packingtown have been compared to wolves who are pit-fighting numerous times. Looking at these men is a hideous sight. Talking to them is even worse.
Changes in Town
Recently, Jurgis Rudkus was released form jail. He was arrested for nearly killing Phil O'Connor with a brutal beating. When he was released I decided that I would talk to him about the changes he saw when he came back from prison. He told me that the biggest change he saw was that the usual white, fluffy snow was now black. The air was now dark and dull. Jurgis says to him it shows while he was gone things changed and that they were mostly bad changes. The snow shows that everything is falling apart and there's nothing he can so about it. Jurgis said that he has no hope for Packingtown to get back on its feet.
Just When Things Couldn't Get Any Worse
Jurgis Rudkus life was already bad enough when his beloved wife, Ona Lukoszaite, passed away while giving birth. Sadly, the baby didn't make it either and is now with Ona. Jurgis was not stable enough to have a conversation with me about this so I talked to Marija Bercyznskas, Ona's cousin. Marija told me that Ona's death effects Jurgis is the worst way possible. Jurgis did not want his wife to go and he couldn't believe it when she passed. Once she was gone, he yelled for her to come back. Marija said that Jurgis shared with her that "She is gone" was all that pounded through his head like a bell for hours. Ona's life had hardly began, she was so young. And to see her lay dead in front of him was atrocious. He just couldn't accept the fact that he would never hear or look into his wife's eyes again. Her dying in a tremendous amout of pain didn't help either. Jurgis was beside himself and his cries echoed throughout the house. Marija also said that Jurgis developed an addiction after Ona's death. He became an alcoholic. After he was done mourning over Ona, he took Ona's stepmothers child, Kotrina's, three dollars she raised and he want to a saloon and got drunk. Ever since then all money he earned was spent on a drink from the bar. Poor Jurgis' life is one tragedy after another.
A Quest for a Job
After Jurgis Rudkus was released from prison, he went to look for a job. Everywhere he went, he got turned down. He then comes to the realization that he has been blacklisted. That means that everyone boss of a company in Packingtown has Jurgis' name written down on a secret little list in their office. Everyone knows that he has practically beaten Phil O'Connor to death. This man has as much of a chance of getting a job in town as being chosen Mayor of Chicago. Somehow luck comes his way and in the hunt to find a job, Jurgis finds employment at Harvester Trust. At this job he wheels iron plates to a room where they will be assembled by machines. Each day he earns a dollar and seventy-five cents.
Help from a Friend
We are all wondering how in the world did a blacklisted man get hired? Well it turns out that Jurgis Rudkus got help from an accidental meeting with an old-time friend from when he was in the Union. While his friend was on his way to work at Harvester Trust, he ran into Jurgis. Jurgis brought up that he was in dire need of a job and was having a very hard time finding one. His friend told him to come along with him. He said he would speak a good word of him to his boss which he has a close relationship with. After thoroughly looking over and questioning Jurgis, the foreman said he had an opening for him.
Just as Jurgis Rudkus starts to feel hope, he loses it again. On his ninth day of work at Harvester Trust he saw a commotion outside the building. He asked a man what was going on and he was told that at the beginning of tomorrow, his department would be closed. It would not open up again until further notice. Jurgis has worked hard to get back up on his feet after his losing his wife and newborn baby. He has had much trouble in his life and it seems that everything good that comes to him, ends up being ruined. Nothing works out for him and I have never seen a man with luck as bad as Jurgus Rudkus.