In early 1900, specifically, 1906, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair was written. This novel told the story of a Lithuanian immigrant who worked in a filthy Chicago meatpacking plant. It exposed the meatpacking industry by stating their vile practices not only towards their meat but their workers as well. This was a result of the combination of many immigrants in the United States to pursue a better life, and the fact that many big industries were looking for ways to maximize their profit.
Upton Sinclair portrays the economic tension in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries through his novel “The Jungle”. He used the story of a Lithuanian immigrant, Jurgis Rudkus, to show the harsh situation that immigrants had to face in the United States, the unsanitary and unsafe working conditions in the meatpacking plants, as well as the tension between the capitalism and socialism in the United States during the early 1900s.
When Upton Sinclair, a progressive era muckraker, wrote The Jungle in 1906, he was attempting to bring knowledge of the horrific conditions in Packingtown to the average citizen. His revelations on the terrors of Packingtown helped to slowly improve the lives of the immigrants. Sinclair’s pursuit of knowledge relates to the slowly growing knowledge of the characters in The Jungle. Throughout the story the characters find themselves in many tragic circumstances that could have been more easily avoided if they had been more aware of their surroundings. The immigrants are full of a false hope for success that disillusions the reality of their life. Examples of the consequences of lack of ignorance can be found in other literary works such as Two Sheep by Janet Frame. The overwhelming absence of knowledge in combination with unrealistic hope is the cause of the frequent dilemmas they encounter, and by that definition, can be considered the antagonist of The Jungle.
“The same endless vista of ugly and dirty little wooden buildings. Here and there would be a bridge crossing a filthy creek.” This was Upton Sinclair’s description of the city of Chicago in the early 20th century in his book The Jungle, and it was not flattering. The things that went on inside the city was even uglier, and it was done by one corporate, capitalism. Capitalism became a major problem in America as it bred horrible working and living conditions for the working class, and there was many reasons for why this happened (i.e. greed). Capitalism bred corruption in both police department, government and the voting process, and bred ethnic tensions that had a major effect on class relations during that period. The unions and socialist movements that came out during this time period showed to the world how problematic capitalism is, and blossomed in the 20th century as a savior of the working class. Upton Sinclair conveyed to the world the problems of capitalism in a progressive reform impulse way, and was extremely successful in showing to the world how problematic capitalism was.
After reading Upton Sinclair’s book, The Jungle, child labor, urbanization, industrialization and immigration are problem quite sore during 1880-1910 period.
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
As industrial strength grew and technology advanced, labor in America changed. Machines replaced many of workers’ old duties and some skilled laborers who had been previously valued became easily replaced. Immigrants who were willing to work under poorer conditions flooded into the United States, big businesses grew, and political machines whose interests were not that of the people occupied the government. Laborers worked ten hour shifts, six-day workweeks, and started work as children. In The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, he describes the painful and vigorous work in the meat-packing industry, saying, “The hands of these men would be criss-crossed with cuts, until you could no longer pretend to count them...They would have no nails, they had worn them off pulling hides; their knuckles were swollen so that their fingers spread out like a fan. There were men who worked in the cooking-rooms...in these rooms the germs of tuberculosis might live for two years.” These suffering Americans appealed to the government and labor unions for help, but they did not receive it due to lack of union organization, big business ties, and laissez-faire economic ideals. During the Gilded Age, the U.S. government suppressed the average industrial worker, and labor unions, though created for laborers’ aid, accomplished little and were futile when facing big business and government.
When Upton Sinclair wrote the Jungle, a book about the terrible environment of the meat-packing factories in Chicago, he hoped to motivate reform in immigrant working conditions and promote socialism. Instead, what shocked readers the most was the sordid surroundings in which their future meals were prepared. Sinclair 's audience saw these conditions as a threat to themselves, and that energized reform in the meat-packing industry. What scared audiences the most was how real this threat was to their lives. As can be witnessed in the results of Sinclair 's crusade, the most effective propaganda is that which rouses the visceral survival instinct. Donald Trump, a notorious real estate mogul, is running for president on a platform that started
In the early 1900s, food safety was an incredibly unfamiliar and overlooked part of America’s food industry. Written by muckraker Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, was a controversial novel that depicted the harsh living and working conditions of immigrants working in the food industry. After the release of The Jungle, thousands of meat-eating Americans were horrified at what had been happening in factories. Disgusting yet accurate details presented in The Jungle were the basis for the creation of laws to stop food production from becoming so unsanitary.
Throughout American history, propaganda pieces have been used to sway the public opinion on one matter or another. The famous Federalist Papers were used to sway the early American public to ratify the Constitution. The Civil War also heavily relied on propaganda to recruit soldiers and boost morale. At the turn of the 20th century, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle was written as a propaganda piece on socialism, however, it was remembered for its cometary on the ethics of the meat packing industry. Although its goal of turning America into a socialist society was forgotten, it served as one of the most efficient propaganda pieces on the meat packing industry. A century later the documentary Food, Inc. was produced for the same purpose of drawing attention to the food industry as a whole. Although monopolies on the meat industry have increased after being broken up and food workers treatment is similar to those in The Jungle, there are now more government regulations in place, ensuring food safety to a
“Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time” (Grace Abbott). The issue of child labor has been around for centuries. Its standing in our world has been irrevocably stained in our history and unfortunately, our present. Many great minds have assessed this horrific issue and its effect on our homes, societies, and ultimately, our world.
Why should people be concerned about the Flint Water Crisis? What makes it different from any other crisis? The citizens of Flint have been poisoned by drinking lead-filled water. This occurred because governor Rick Snyder switched Flint’s main water source from Detroit, to the Flint River in 2014 to save money. Due to this change in the water source, many children may not experience major health defects and have problems in the near future. The water change may have also caused an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the county. Legionnaires’ disease has killed about ten people, and has affected seventy-seven more. Many lawsuits have been filed towards the government officials because of this issue. Jurgis and his family are having a tough
Families that are poor or have a low income are more likely to commit crimes for the purpose of their own needs to survive. “It is a fact that neighborhoods where the poor are concentrated are more prone to high crime rates, and poor residents are the most common victims of crimes” (1). The best explanation for this is that poorer people have the same needs as a regular middle-class citizen. The poor citizens need certain things to help him or her live a healthy life, such as healthcare, food stamps, and more employment options. One may argue that healthcare is too expensive and that food stamps have been taken away from many people. It is also extremely difficult to get a well-paying job in order to pay for housing, healthcare, and food. The lack of healthcare, food stamps, and well-paying jobs can result in people turning towards crime because of issues such as mental health, physical health, and employment options.
Upton Sinclair’s book, The Jungle, depicts the struggles of Lithuanian immigrants as they worked and lived in Chicago’s Packingtown at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The United States experienced an enormous social and political transformation; furthermore, the economy, factories, and transportation industry grew faster than anyone had ever seen. Immigrants and migrants were attracted to city life for its promise of employment and their chance at the American Dream. The poor working class had little to no rights, and they grappled with unfair business practices, unsafe working conditions, racism, Social Darwinism, class segregation, xenophobia, political corruption, strikes, starvation, poor housing,