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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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SPOIIER: CHAPTERS 23-27 enlightened or given over to it

These 5 chapters, I lump into one post. Jurgis goes through more bad times, more depressing surprises and then becomes part of it and finds it pays. These are the...if you can't beat them join them chapters.

After I had read the full book, I did do some searching online for some reviews of the book. I didn't want the influence of them before I had read it first. Although this book is hailed as an important work, there were many who found problems with it the further it progressed. I did too.

Somewhere in these chapters, maybe a bit before, the story begins to just be so filled with "horrors" or "injustices" that when the MOMENTS of relief come for him, you know its going to just be another, "so what tho,it wont last past this page probably". There is a great story and message in the account of meeting the wealthy drunk young man and going home with him. The problem is, the second he is out the door,so is the message because the cold is colder, the hardship harder. His one fortunate thing coming out of this meeting turns into jail time again and I think what somewhere begins to happen is you don't start to care anymore. I think there are a couple of reasons for this.

I don't know about the early 1900s, but you know how today, there is much talk about kids becoming desensitized to violence because of games and tv, that they dont see what wrong with it anymore? I think as a society we become desensitized to many things and maybe what some of the critics of this book, or just people starting to lose interest about this time in it, is just that. Sinclair has bombarded us with sights and sounds and feelings, and so even when the momentary little things of relief come, or the ones that could be the whole turning point for Jurgis and his, now mostly dead family,comes, we dont believe it anymore. If we lose hope and interest in the protagonist of the story, it all becomes one long depressing bore that can cause some to start skimming pages (as some have said) rather than reading them and taking them in. Add to that, the fact that after a whole book of feeling and learning about the plight of your protagnosist, the fact that in 3 little chapters, WHO,or what, the real protagonist is changes and you are really feeling let down. Later on that.

OK, so Jurgis finds a place for himself in the land of graft and Marija gives into her lot as, "ah, thats life" and has lost the fire of the woman fighting for things being just right in the opening scenes to one not given to fight but not upset by having lost the battle either. When they dont care anymore, you dont either.

The very thing Sinclair is trying to sensitize us to, is getting bogged down here now in the ups and downs that seem to have no meaning anymore.It goes on too long when less could do. (Like I often to LOL!)And if i read Sinclair's overly used line of, the sweat beginning to form on Jurgis' brow at what he hears,one more time, I think i will tie up his head! Or Sinclair's pen! But here we go again now at the end of 27 ,with Jurgis now in trouble with his grafting ways, ready to go out and try to find redemption again, look for work one more time. But then comes the most controversial 3 chapters, the last three of the book. I think it starts about midway through 28 actually. So I will leave that for a post about 28 on.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: SPOIIER: CHAPTERS 23-27 enlightened or given over to it

I agree with most of the hopelessnes and helplessness you felt in these chapters Vivico but I think that Sinclair was trying to set us up for what he saw as The New Jerusalem of other ideas and nemesis (retributive justice) of the final chapters. I agree, though, that for us, if not for the workers of 1906, he did it badly and bored the pants of us (well not me, because I liked the political bits:smileyhappy:.




vivico1 wrote:
These 5 chapters, I lump into one post. Jurgis goes through more bad times, more depressing surprises and then becomes part of it and finds it pays. These are the...if you can't beat them join them chapters.

After I had read the full book, I did do some searching online for some reviews of the book. I didn't want the influence of them before I had read it first. Although this book is hailed as an important work, there were many who found problems with it the further it progressed. I did too.

Somewhere in these chapters, maybe a bit before, the story begins to just be so filled with "horrors" or "injustices" that when the MOMENTS of relief come for him, you know its going to just be another, "so what tho,it wont last past this page probably". There is a great story and message in the account of meeting the wealthy drunk young man and going home with him. The problem is, the second he is out the door,so is the message because the cold is colder, the hardship harder. His one fortunate thing coming out of this meeting turns into jail time again and I think what somewhere begins to happen is you don't start to care anymore. I think there are a couple of reasons for this.

I don't know about the early 1900s, but you know how today, there is much talk about kids becoming desensitized to violence because of games and tv, that they dont see what wrong with it anymore? I think as a society we become desensitized to many things and maybe what some of the critics of this book, or just people starting to lose interest about this time in it, is just that. Sinclair has bombarded us with sights and sounds and feelings, and so even when the momentary little things of relief come, or the ones that could be the whole turning point for Jurgis and his, now mostly dead family,comes, we dont believe it anymore. If we lose hope and interest in the protagonist of the story, it all becomes one long depressing bore that can cause some to start skimming pages (as some have said) rather than reading them and taking them in. Add to that, the fact that after a whole book of feeling and learning about the plight of your protagnosist, the fact that in 3 little chapters, WHO,or what, the real protagonist is changes and you are really feeling let down. Later on that.

OK, so Jurgis finds a place for himself in the land of graft and Marija gives into her lot as, "ah, thats life" and has lost the fire of the woman fighting for things being just right in the opening scenes to one not given to fight but not upset by having lost the battle either. When they dont care anymore, you dont either.

The very thing Sinclair is trying to sensitize us to, is getting bogged down here now in the ups and downs that seem to have no meaning anymore.It goes on too long when less could do. (Like I often to LOL!)And if i read Sinclair's overly used line of, the sweat beginning to form on Jurgis' brow at what he hears,one more time, I think i will tie up his head! Or Sinclair's pen! But here we go again now at the end of 27 ,with Jurgis now in trouble with his grafting ways, ready to go out and try to find redemption again, look for work one more time. But then comes the most controversial 3 chapters, the last three of the book. I think it starts about midway through 28 actually. So I will leave that for a post about 28 on.


Frequent Contributor
fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: SPOIIER: CHAPTERS 23-27 enlightened or given over to it

Vivico writes:
I don't know about the early 1900s, but you know how today, there is much talk about kids becoming desensitized to violence because of games and tv, that they dont see what wrong with it anymore? I think as a society we become desensitized to many things and maybe what some of the critics of this book, or just people starting to lose interest about this time in it, is just that. Sinclair has bombarded us with sights and sounds and feelings, and so even when the momentary little things of relief come, or the ones that could be the whole turning point for Jurgis and his, now mostly dead family,comes, we dont believe it anymore. If we lose hope and interest in the protagonist of the story, it all becomes one long depressing bore that can cause some to start skimming pages (as some have said) rather than reading them and taking them in.


I'll assume that many readers feel the same way. And now you realize that you are being taken for a ride: that the point of the narrative is to deaden the characters so that you don't care about the individual human element, and you begin to see beyond the need for personal attachments of any kind. Then you realize that the hero is not Jurgis at all, but the working class itself, or proletariat--he has to kill our interest in character to do this. That's what also makes it a socialist novel: he wants to make a collective hero, so that you're forced to see Jurgis as the symbol of all the rest . . . Is this what we want or need from literature?
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: SPOIIER: CHAPTERS 23-27 enlightened or given over to it


fanuzzir wrote:
Vivico writes:
I don't know about the early 1900s, but you know how today, there is much talk about kids becoming desensitized to violence because of games and tv, that they dont see what wrong with it anymore? I think as a society we become desensitized to many things and maybe what some of the critics of this book, or just people starting to lose interest about this time in it, is just that. Sinclair has bombarded us with sights and sounds and feelings, and so even when the momentary little things of relief come, or the ones that could be the whole turning point for Jurgis and his, now mostly dead family,comes, we dont believe it anymore. If we lose hope and interest in the protagonist of the story, it all becomes one long depressing bore that can cause some to start skimming pages (as some have said) rather than reading them and taking them in.


I'll assume that many readers feel the same way. And now you realize that you are being taken for a ride: that the point of the narrative is to deaden the characters so that you don't care about the individual human element, and you begin to see beyond the need for personal attachments of any kind. Then you realize that the hero is not Jurgis at all, but the working class itself, or proletariat--he has to kill our interest in character to do this. That's what also makes it a socialist novel: he wants to make a collective hero, so that you're forced to see Jurgis as the symbol of all the rest . . . Is this what we want or need from literature?




I guess for me, there was no transformation from the hero being Jurgis to it really being the working class. I mean, I saw him as representative of it all the way through, but when his character basically diappears in the last part, so does the working class. There was just the end of Jurgis and then a socialist pamplet attached at the end. Is it what we want or need from literature? I am not sure how to answer that but a better written transformation and blending then with the socialist ideas would have helped.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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