Why can't Jurgis find solace in religion?
Jurgis cannot find solace in religion because it fails to solve the fundamental economic and social inequality that Jurgis perceives as an intrinsic part of the capitalist system. From the most fundamental of points of views, Jurgis has seen the corruptibility of capitalism render complete and total chaos on his life. Dead children and wife, dispersed family, and those who are the very worst in society are profiting over the misery of those who are the most earnest. Little in what is present in Jurgis' life is just or moral. The preachings of religion are antithetical and almost irrelevant to what Jurgis is experiencing. The promises of the afterlife and the faith in a transcendent being that will provide some type of external salvation ring hollow to Jurgis for two reasons. The first would be that Jurgis finds that such belief systems actually embolden those in the position of power who are corrupt, for if individuals become passive enough to wait for the next life that means they will end up being run over in this one. The second problem for Jurgis is that religious notions of the good do not take the hurt away from him at losing his wife, children, and the hopes and dreams for success and meager happiness he possessed at one point in time. For these reasons, religion is not something that can provide solace to Jurgis.