Analysis Of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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After spending months in the stockyards to study their abhorrent conditions, Upton Sinclair penned The Jungle, his most popular work, which depicts an immigrant family and the hardships they face upon moving to America. Over the course of the novel, the protagonist Jurgis Rudkus slowly loses his faith in the American dream and subsequently becomes a socialist. This blatant political bias is often cited as justification for banning it throughout the world. However, despite many criticizing its push for socialism and lack of artistry, the novel has significance in upper-level classrooms as it possesses literary merit and significance in historical and real world contexts. The Jungle has spurred controversy since its release due to its socialist message, which is introduced to the novel as Jurgis becomes disillusioned from the American dream. Near the end of the book, Jurgis experiences a near-religious conversion to socialism upon hearing a speaker at a political convention. Here, Sinclair expresses his own discontentment with the labor system of America and argues, through his characters, that the wealthy and privileged “own not merely the labor of society, they have bought the governments; and everywhere they use their raped and stolen power to intrench themselves in their privileges, to dig wider and deeper the channels through which the river of profits flows to them!” (Sinclair) He calls for social welfare programs, unionization, and reform in a time where such measures
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