Review Of Upton Sinclair's Novel 'The Jungle'

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American Dream or American Nightmare?
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. Mineola, New York. Dover Publications, Inc. 290 pages.
The novel The Jungle written by Upton Sinclair is a fictional story based during the twentieth century on the lives of immigrants living in Chicago and the harsh conditions they went through. I think that Sinclair named his book the jungle because Packingtown, the meat-packing district of Chicago, mimicked a jungle. The conditions were terrible, the labor and work those workers were put through were extremely harsh. Everyone, including Jurgis Rudkus and his family, had to fight for their survival everyday. It was the survival of the fittest and if you let your guard down or didn’t do your job right, you would be replaced. …show more content…

Most of the immigrants that came to Chicago were extremely poor. Jobs were hard to find and once you had one, you had to do everything you possibly could to keep it. You could easily be replaced because of the high demand for jobs. Because of this extreme poverty that Jurgis and his family goes through it causes and explains the extreme use of alcohol and criminal behavior. One problem that happened at these jobs were accidents on the job. People would get injured and be so worried about losing their job they would continue to push themselves to be able to support themselves and their families causing their injury to only increase. For example, Jurgis had an accident and work and sprained his ankle. It wasn’t too bad at first, so he continued to work but at the end of the day it was dramatically worse and he was unable to work. This resulted in him being unable to work for several months causing his family to experience even harsher poverty. This resulted in Jurgis alcoholism, which happened to many others as …show more content…

Ona, Jurgis’s wife, has to get a job to help support her family and her boss threatens to fire her if she does not sleep with him. Because he knows that her family needs the money he threatens to contact Jurgis’s boss and get him fired as well if she does not sleep with him. Ona knows that she needs the money to help support and feed her family she sleeps with him. This just goes to show that when in extreme poverty, people will steep to extreme lows to do what they can to survive and take care of the people that they love.
In conclusion, the novel The Jungle written by Upton Sinclair was based on the lives of immigrants living in Chicago trying to create a new life for themselves all while trying to survive in the harsh working and living conditions. The title represents what live was really like and that like in a jungle, you had to fight for survival. Sinclair described what life was like then and what was going on in the meat packing industries by using examples of corruption and poverty that Jurgis and his family

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