Analyzing Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle'

1202 Words5 Pages
Ashwin Kumar
Ms. Bergith Weber
AP English Language/4
March 17, 2018
Independent Reading Lodestar
Title: The title of this book is The Jungle.
Author: The author of this book is Upton Sinclair.
Original Date of Publication: Upton Sinclair published this book originally in 1906, but numerous editions have been published even in the 21st century that censor some its graphic content and violence. The time period was the progressive era in the early twentieth century.
Genre: This book is in the genre of political and historical fiction, as it portrays the horrors of the meat-packing industry with a few fictional characters.

Historical Context:
Upton Sinclair was a muckraker, which meant he was a journalist who exposed the harsh societal norms
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But life takes a turn for the worse when Jurgis sprains his ankle and is out of work for months, causing his relatives to abandon the family and his job to be given to someone else without pay. Eventually, he has to work in the fertilizer plant - the most dangerous place - and his wife is forced to sleep with her boss while he is gone. When Jurgis finds that she is pregnant, he attacks the boss and is thrown in jail. He comes out to find his wife dying of premature birth along with the child. After he gets injured again, he becomes a beggar on the streets of Chicago.
Eventually, after being taken advantage of many times - even losing a hundred dollar bill to a bartender - Jurgis finds himself in a socialist rally. He likes the idea, and gets a job at a socialist hotel, where the novel ends optimistically as he urges more people to convert to socialism. Sinclair’s purpose is to illustrate the theme of the plight of the immigrant workers, and all of the plot relates back to this struggle. Every event adds to Jurgis’s misery, and Sinclair reveals that socialism is the only hope to get out of the intensely unfair and harsh capitalist
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It grew darker all the time, and upon the earth the grass seemed to grow less green. But along with the thickening smoke, they began to notice another circumstance, a strange, pungent odor; this odor, some might have called it sickening, was unpleasant, but their taste in odors was not developed, and they were only sure that it was curious” (Sinclair 20).
2. The two devices of anadiplosis and foreshadowing combine in this short passage to display the naivety of Jurgis’s family, as they have no idea about the reality conditions in Packingtown. Sinclair repeats “odor” (Sinclair 20) twice to convey the disruptive nature of the factory, and the anadiplosis magnifies the effects that the smell has on the people and the area. The odor is the most noticeable effect of the slaughter of animals in the stockyard, and the fact that the word is repeated three times in one sentence reveals how ignorant the family is to the harshness of the situation. Foreshadowing has a large presence as well, as Sinclair hints that there are disastrous activities occurring in the town by depicting the factory’s effects on the surrounding regions. As the family approaches the city, they fail to realize that the sky is graying, and the grass is not as lush as before. They somehow do not realize that the strange odor is abnormal, and the worsening conditions are key to Sinclair’s foreshadowing.
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