The Nymph Vs The Shepard Essay Research — страница 2

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a black shadow hung over him and a horrid Fate waited in his pathway. Now suddenly it had swooped upon him, and had seized him by the leg. Relentless, remorseless, it was; all his protests, his screams, were nothing to it-it did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life. And now was one to believe that there was nowhere a god of hogs, to whom this hog personality was precious, to whom these hog squeals and agonies had no meaning? Who would take this hog into his arms and comfort him, reward him for his work well done, and show him the meaning of his sacrifices? Perhaps all of this was in the thoughts of our humble minded Jurgis, as he turned to go on with the rest of the party and

muttered ‘Dieve-but I am glad I am not a hog. This passage serves three functions in this book. The first, is to strongly imply the slavery and injustice that is the lives of these pigs. The second, is to give these hogs human qualities and emotions so that it is possible to make their ultimate slaughter even more horrible than it already is. These pigs begin with desire, faith and individuality. However, before their destruction, the pigs realize that they are worthless beings in existence only for the pleasure they can bring to the society they are in. After these realizations they are destroyed in the cold calculating machine never to be heard from again. The pigs are given humanity only to have it stripped away from them for the sake of the society. Ironically, Jurgis says

“Dieve- but I am glad I am not a Hog.” Jurgis does not realize that these hogs are playing out the role of his life. This passage serves to foreshadow the future of Jurgis and his family, while giving the reader a sense of how they will be ultimately taken to their demise in the calculating machine of America. Jurgis and the others, during the rest of the book, are faced with many problems as they try to survive the American rat race. They are manipulated into buying a home they really could not afford and forced to pay extra rent that was not part of their original deal. This was a direct form of capitalism trying to destroy the family from Lithuania. But perhaps a more disturbing manipulation in the book is the rape of Ona. “At the very first, she said. She spoke as if in

a trance. It was all-it was their plot-Miss Henderson’s plot. She hated me. And he-he wanted me. He used to speak to me-out on the platform. Then he began to-to make love to me. He offered me money. He begged me-he said he loved me. Then he threatened me. He knew all about us, he knew we would starve. He knew your boss-he knew Marija’s. He would hound us to death, he said- then he said if I would-if I-we would all of us be sure of work-always. Then on day he caught hold of me-he would not let go-he-he-.” Finally, the reader is allowed to see the largest dehumanization that their is, the act of rape. The status of the family gets even worse and Jurgis is turned from a good hard working man into a crook. It appears to be the only way that he can survive. One day after many

long years of trials and tribulations Jurgis finds another way. A socialist meeting brings new hope to Jurgis and an understanding about a better way of life. His new way of life is now confronted with his old way of life when he meets with Marija. Marija had nothing on but a kimono and a pair of stockings yet she proceeded to dress before Jurgis, and without even taking the trouble to close the door. He had by this time divined what sort of place he was in; and he had seen a great deal of the world since he had left home, and was not easy to shock-and yet it gave him a painful start that Marija should do this. They had always been decent people at home, and it seemed to him that the memory of old times ought to have ruled her. But then he laughed at himself for a fool. What was

he, to be pretending to decency! By this point in the book both Marija and Jurgis have accepted the dehumanization process and in the case of Marija she has not only accepted it but she is using that process to make a living. All of the pretenses are gone. What began at the wedding has been finished here. These are the same people that became offended that the young Lithuanian men would leave the wedding and their traditions behind. Now, it simply did not matter. There was not pretending to decency. The last blow to capitalism is given in a realization Marija makes when she is speaking to Jurgis. “No, she answered I don’t blame you. We never have-any of us. You did your best-the job was too much for us. She paused a moment, then added: We were too ignorant-that was the