A Man of Many Colors

Upton Sinclair: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. 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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