preview

Prejudice And Discrimination In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

Better Essays
In our world, people who are born different from other people are almost always treated differently from those who are “normal”. Nearly every person that is treated differently is treated in a more negative way than they would be if they fit in with other people. This is a terrible and insensible trend that has caused years of suffering throughout human history. Because of unimportant and miniscule discrepancies, such as race, we have decided to put up walls between cultures and make ourselves narrow-minded and un-open to new ideas. The reality that discrimination is universal has lead to discrimination becoming a popular theme in literature and other forms of entertainment. Some pieces of literature that have this theme are; “The Scarlet…show more content…
Sinclair never faced any hardships that he wrote about, however, he did write about the hardships of others. The Jungle is set in the early 1900’s and is about a lithuanian family, the Rudkus family, that moves to the United States. Jurgis, the father figure of the family, and Ona, the mother figure, agree to move with their family of twelve to America for a chance at an even better life than they have. The family’s first few weeks in the country are filled with hardships which the family knew they would have to face, some of these hardships were: finding jobs, learning the language, and a great deal of discrimination. People were treated terribly in the meat industry, especially in Packingtown, the suburb of Chicago where Jurgis found work. Because there were so many immigrants seeking work, corporations could treat them as horribly as they wanted because the immigrants needed jobs and if one did not want to work, someone else would surely fill his place. Discrimination is a prominent theme in this novel, along with the main theme of The Jungle, the evil of capitalism. In fact, this novel ends with Jurgis joining a socialist party and eventually riding with others to give americans the right to be able to work a fair amount of hours and be able to live off their salary and still have a few hours in the day to do as they choose. Overall, The…show more content…
While evil is a popular theme in each of these works, that evil is overcome or worked around in a way that the protagonist succeeds and the world becomes a better place for the other characters. These books also are unique in the ways that the discrimination occurs. In The Jungle, Jurgis does not face anyone with a prejudice against him or his family or race, until he makes his way to the United States, later in life. In the other works, however, the characters that are treated unequal are treated as such because of how they were born or brought up into the world. Jurors from 12 Angry Men held prejudices against the boy because he we a certain race, he had a poor childhood, or both. Doodle, of course, was born weak always needed special treatment, making him different. The world does not have space for such intolerant and ways of thinking or judging. People born different from “normal” people did not choose to be born the way they were, but the world can choose to embrace the unique qualities different cultures and societies have. Doodle, Jurgis, and the boy were treated unfairly, they did not choose the lives they were given, no one
Get Access