Meatpacking Workers In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Revealing the harsh treatment of meatpacking workers and showing the reality of the disgusting conditions found in butchery shops to the public, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle became an enduring classic by American readers throughout the early twentieth century the prompted the later creation of the Federal Drug Administration. In the early 1900s, America was explosively transitioning from an agricultural society to a thriving manufacturing-based nation. As production demand in factories grew throughout the country, the work force needed to run those factories also expanded. A new type of demanding and dangerous work became prevalent throughout the nation, as immigrants coming into the “Land of Opportunity” found themselves desperate …show more content…

The main goal of businesses, in the growing manufacturing economy, was to produce the most product at the cheapest price. With a large influx of desperate immigrants looking for jobs, companies were able to quickly capitalize on the rights of vain workers. Viewing as them as easily replaceable, owners were easily able to take advantage of the rights of workers and utilize them to their advantage. The desperation prevalent in those willing to take the jobs that nobody else wanted supplied labor to factories, often for a high price. Worker’s rights were often manipulated in the industries exemplified throughout The Jungle. However, readers at the time were not very concerned about the petty immigrants living on the lower rung of society. Rather, they cared about what affected them most: the condition of the meat they were eating-- and had been eating-- for years, that were produced by some of the very factories mentioned in Sinclair’s novel. For the majority of The Jungle’s readers, the fact that poor immigrants were being exploited was not bothersome. Instead, the fact that the food that readers had been eating for years contained the power to kill them seemed shocking, pushing the nation into a worried frenzy. Readers were disgusted by the facts they were reading, catalyzing the creation of administrations like the FDA. Thus, Sinclair’s purpose of writing The Jungle failed to bring readers to advocate for the rights of workers trapped in the low wages, unsafe working conditions, and long hours of meatpacking factories, but rather, succeeded in opening the country’s eyes to the meatpacking practices that went on behind closed doors and the establishment administrations to protect the public from these unscrupulous

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