Why did Jurgis and Ona decide upon Chicago for their home?

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Then as now, Chicago was a huge, sprawling metropolis. As the largest city in the Midwest, it attracted migrant workers from all over the world, as well as African-Americans from the Deep South looking to escape the indignities of Jim Crow. At the time in which The Jungle is set,...

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Then as now, Chicago was a huge, sprawling metropolis. As the largest city in the Midwest, it attracted migrant workers from all over the world, as well as African-Americans from the Deep South looking to escape the indignities of Jim Crow. At the time in which The Jungle is set, Chicago was seen by many immigrants as the epitome of America: a place full of promise for those willing to work hard, with a plentiful supply of jobs and great opportunities to become phenomenally rich.

Indeed, this is precisely what happened to a friend of Jonas, Jurgis's brother. He's made it in America, and to be even more precise, in Chicago. And as Jurgis doesn't see why he can't follow suit, he takes the fateful decision to settle down in the Windy City with Ona. At this stage in the story, Jurgis is still quite starry-eyed about the prospects of making it big in America. It's only later on that he will become thoroughly disillusioned with life as an immigrant in his new country.

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Jurgis and Ona have to leave Lithuania because Ona's father has gone broke and the family is losing their farm.  So they decide to go to America.

Historically, many immigrants who come to America come to a place where they already know some people who have immigrated before them.  This phenomenon is called "chain migration."  It was for this reason that Jurgis and Ona chose Chicago.

Ona's stepmother had a brother named Jonas and Jonas had a friend who had moved to Chicago.  And for that reason, Jurgis and Ona went to Chicago too.

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