Daniel H. Pink explains that “Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.” It is this empathy that allows people to care about others and feel for them as they go through suffering and sorrow. The excerpts from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” create different emotions in readers. Poets such as Robert Frost leave the meaning of their works up to the interpretation of the reader, but novelists such as Upton Sinclair evoke more empathy in readers than poets by stating events clearly.
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.
In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, Jurgis and his family attempt to survive in a malicious society. In this jungle of a town, rotten meat is being packaged in order to save money. Throughout the novel, the immigrants are faced with greedy capitalists who take advantage of the family’s ignorance and naivety in order to make money. The symbols of corruption, a jungle-like setting, and the tension between family and a work-based lifestyle transparently contribute to the unifying theme of anti-capitalism. In other words, this book is not art; this book is propaganda.
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.
In “ The Jungle”, the author Upton Sinclair states that “ I aimed at the public's heart and by accident I hit it in the stomach”. This means that Sinclair wanted to muckrake the Meat Packing Industry to seek attention for the workers, but instead food became a bigger concern. The characters Jurgis, Ona, and Marija with fellow family members are Lithuanian immigrants who came to PackingTown in hope for a better future, however they came to realize that the whole town is run by capitalist. Although Sinclair intentionally uses metaphors and similes to depict the characters struggle in the horrible living and working conditions in Packingtown, his purpose is undermined and overlooked by his use of realism to depict the food process.
The Jungle written by Upton Sinclair was an expose on the life of those who lived in Packingtown, Chicago. Packingtown was where most of the people who was looking for work lived, it was a very crowded city. Job openings were scarce and most of the jobs were very unsafe. Most of the people in this part of town were poor, so they did not really have much doubts of food,. The Jungle exposed the horrific work conditions, the poor food quality, and the deceitfulness of the business owners.
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
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
The Jungle is a story that revolves around the protagonist Jurgis Rudkus and his family, the Lithuanian immigrant who came to America to lead a better life and worked at meatpacking plants of early 20th century Chicago. The story showcases the hardship that they underwent due to the harsh and bad working condition, poverty, starvation and being cheated by unjust people agents, eventually losing all their money. The Jungle provides us ways to look at the unfettered capitalism that prevailed in the early 20th century. This book also exposes the corruption, inequality, unjustness, sickness and slavery that existed in the society.
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.
In February 1906, Upton Sinclair would write and publish his fictional novel The Jungle. This book, which was intended to focus on the exploited workers in the meat industry would depict the unsanitary conditions for a mere 10 pages. Missing the point of the novel, Americans were disgusted by the conditions of the packing plants, rather than outrage at the mistreatment of the workers at these plants (Kauffman). The Jungle spurred new legislation, but this legislation wasn’t the first that called for such standards. In 1641, the Massachusetts Colony had passed the Meat and Fish Inspection document which prohibited selling “diseased, corrupted, contagious or unwholesome provisions” (Massachusetts Act against Selling Unwholesome Provisions). The
Upton Sinclair reflects the reality of the people during the late 1800’s in his novel The Jungle. In his novel, Sinclair wants to promote Socialism by showing how people lived in the meatpacking plant and under a corrupt government. The inhuman working conditions, combined with the lack of hygiene and a corrupt government, made trying to make a living a total hardships for the low class and the immigrants.
Big corporations and businesses have been thriving in America since the late nineteenth century. The definition of the term “Big business” is “an economic group consisting of large profit-making corporations especially with regard to their influence on social or political policy”(“Big Business”).
The 19th century was the era of the Gilded Age, where the economy was booming, bringing great changes that affected the lives of workers and entrepreneurs. During this period, there was a large influx of immigrants that were coming to America to look for job opportunities. The migration of immigrants proved useful as a source for cheap labor, allowing an even higher rise in the U.S. economy. While American industrialization may have benefited the upper class of the American society, the effects were opposite to the workers of the lower classes. This problem was especially worse for immigrant workers as their belief in the so-called American dream has been worn down due to the misery they had to endure. Immigrant workers were limited of their freedom and constantly exploited due to the fact that they were working in hazardous working conditions, were living in deplorable conditions, and were being harassed under the intimidating power of corrupt politicians.
In the literary work, The Jungle, the author, Upton Sinclair makes a commentary on the deceitful and dark truth of the American dream. This was achieved by using the canned meat that was produced in Packingtown as a symbol to represent the dream that all the immigrants had about their new lives in America. As the story progresses, the reader, along with the protagonist, Jurgis will discover that the American dream lies cloaked behind a shroud of beautiful lies that masks the vile truths that are the American dream and the canned “beef” processed by the corrupt meat business in Packingtown.