The jungle by upton sinclair essay

They are willing to work, but they are regarded as surplus to requirements. At this point, however, Jurgis has not made the full connection between his treatment, the plight of others and the extent of the power of the Beef Trust.

Extract of sample "The Jungle by Upton Sinclair"

Because he is described initially as averse to socialism, and in favor of individual hard work, he represents many who have believed that capitalism will benefit the working classes. His entrapment in a cycle of poverty, despite his willingness to work, stands as a lesson to those who consider individualistic thinking to be superior to the co-operative tenets of socialism. His early involvement with the union is short-lived and it is suggested, rather than made explicit, that this is because the effects of poverty have outweighed the desire for political change.

Through the characterization of Jurgis and his changing views of the worlds, he is used to explain, in a fictional format, how only socialism and a united workforce can benefit the workingman and woman. When he finally decides to try to understand socialism, the narrative is able to offer closure as he discovers a form of liberation. Consider how this novel engages with the oppression of women. Although The Jungle is predominantly concerned with the life of the oppressed working male as represented by Jurgis , Sinclair also considers the life of the exploited proletariat woman.

By positioning Marija as a prostitute in the last chapters, and we are told she is unable to give up this work, Sinclair is able to emphasize how a sympathetic, ordinary woman may be limited in her choices to earn a living. By doing this, the novel refuses to condemn her morality and instead invites the reader to consider prostitution as another by-product of capitalism. These differentiated female roles are only partially realized as Jurgis is always the central character in this work, but this is balanced somewhat in the final chapter when he attends a small meeting.

Here, a debate ensues about the way marriage is, for women, another form of prostitution and the drudgery of housework is criticized.

What was the outcome of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle"? Essay Example

Examine the descriptions of the working conditions in Packingtown and analyze the impact these had on the readership. When The Jungle was finally published as a novel, it quickly became a national and international bestseller. Its descriptions of life in the Chicago stockyards in the early twentieth century led many to write to the President Theodore Roosevelt to demand changes. At one stage, he was receiving over a letters a day on the subject. The descriptions of the unsanitary conditions and lax meat inspections are thought to have directly influenced the passing of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act It is ironic that this work, which was intended to be a damning indictment of the treatment of workers, brought about change in the production of food rather than that of working conditions.

This irony may be seen to exemplify the main thrust of the novel, which argues that in the United States the working-classes are overlooked and ignored by those in power.

Discuss the portrayal of Jurgis as a criminal and offer an interpretation of why he is depicted in this way. Corruption is rife in this world and Jurgis discovers that life as a thief enables him to survive and even enjoy life, which was never possible when he slaved for the packers. Compared to his previous manual labors, the life of crime is seen to pay more lucratively than honest, exhausting work.

When one considers the change in Jurgis from loyal worker to criminal, the narrative is clearly forcing the readers to consider how it is the effects of capitalism and poverty that have made crime so attractive.

Upton Sinclair's Objective in the Jungle

In Lithuanian and on his arrival in the United States, he is described as only wanting to earn a living for his family and to own his home. The repeated blows that he and his family receive whilst trying to survive in impossible circumstances allow the readers to understand why he eventually finds crime attractive. In addition, the definition of criminal is also challenged as it is continuously reiterated that those in power, such as Scully, are far more devious, corrupt and wealthy than a petty criminal could ever aspire to be.

Indeed, we are told that it is those that appoint the judges, police the streets and own the factories that are the most proficient thieves. Consider the ending of the novel, in particular its adherence to socialist thinking.

Although it did non pay good. He was besides known as a despised author with strong positions. The true-life experiences derived from his ain life and some thorough probes. In the novel he is shown as an retiring individual who joins his occupation at the stockyards with an about childly ignorance.


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As a immature Lithuanian immigrant. Quite evidently. Maryland to New York. In his craft and ignorance he thinks that the whole topographic point is a sort of protective wing. The incidents that follow were rather dramatic and about sickening as Sinclair tries to project a universe of calamity and discord in his novel. Although brilliant in its portraiture of a realistic state of affairs. As the supporter Jurgis loses his artlessness at his work topographic point. His married woman is raped. The optimistic universe of Jurgis slices into resentment that besides forces him to go a condemnable.

One can non assist but believe that Sinclair as an advocator of socialistic reforms has taken his call excessively earnestly. The revolution was worthy of its cause as s of lives were at interest. As a immature energetic. But the realistic word picture and the socialistic reforms that followed the craze generated by the novel is adequate to set of all time uncertainty to kip.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair Review - Minute Book Report

The batch of calamities leave one with an empty sense of guilt. The terrible life conditions of Jurgis and his married woman Ona create glumness in the head and it besides stirs the reformatory inherent aptitudes. He peculiarly emphasized on Capitalism being the cause of all societal immoralities. In fact the first 27 chapters of this book are devoted to directing across this message to the readers.

He declares through these chapters that capitalist economy is unfair. He passes the message that socialism is the remedy for all the unease caused by capitalist economy. He persuades the readers to believe in socialism when he writes about Jurgis detecting socialism in chapter 28 of this novel. Every chapter has a message to drop capitalist economy and neglect it as the political system. He works difficult to pealing forth the hollowness of the Great American Dream.

Sinclair uses assorted symbols to asseverate his positions in the novel. The most of import symbol being the animate being pens and abattoirs in Packingtown.

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Significance of the Jungle by Upton Sinclair

He rather merely uses it to stand for the predicament of working category. Just like the animate beings are made to endure in silence. Merely as herds of animate beings are slaughtered mundane. He besides goes on to depict that merely as the outer packaging of merchandises are glistening and attractive. Packingtown is like a jungle where the strong quarry upon the weak. He narrates the narrative of a group of honest. The universe of a labourer is a barbarian jungle where he struggles for endurance that demands the forfeit of his unity. Sinclair has used the fiction in this book as coverage for corruptness.

However, in the course of time, the situation did not change in principle because the US did not conduct systematic socioeconomic reforms that would eliminate conditions for the exploitation of a large group of people by a few for the benefit of the few, while the large part of the population remains at the risk of economic disaster. At this point, the recent economic recession is the best evidence of the lack of such reforms.

This is why just like a hundred years ago, the US still faces the problem of the social injustice with the severe exploitation of employees, whose only source of income is scarce wages, while a few families concentrate in their hands the lion share of the national wealth and have a considerable and determinant impact not only on the US economy but also politics. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair does not just show horrors of the life of American workers on the dawn of the 20 th century but also and mainly the book uncovers intrinsic pitfalls of the capitalist system of the US, where workers and employees are doomed to struggle for survival, while the upper-class rips off a lion share of the national wealth.

In such a way, the analysis of the condition of the working class in the US leads the author to the only conclusion that the US socio-economic and political system needs changes with the shift toward socialist state, where the government can take responsibility for citizens and the national wealth should be redistributed wisely and fairly. At the same time, The Jungle gives multiple implications to the contemporary labor relations which are still vulnerable to the same pitfalls which persist because of the nature of the US capitalist system and traditions of the US labor relations.

First of all, Sinclair shows clearly the wide gap between the employer and the employee. The main character of the book is struggling for survival, while owners of plants rip off high profits and stay wealthy. In such a way, the author clearly shows the wide gap between the rich and poor in the US, which is actually the gap between owners of businesses and their employees.