Slavery In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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In his novel The Jungle, Upton Sinclair describes, “Here was a population, low-class and mostly foreign, hanging always on the verge of starvation, and dependent for its opportunities of life upon the whim of men every bit as brutal and unscrupulous as the old-time slave drivers; under such circumstances immorality was exactly as inevitable, and as prevalent, as it was under the system of chattel slavery” (Sinclair 113). Sinclair compares new immigrants to slaves and their employers to slave owners, because the immigrants’ survival basically depended on the men in power, who treated them like the cattle they slaughtered in the packing houses. In the early twentieth century, Upton Sinclair published The Jungle as a response to the atrocious working and living conditions of immigrants, especially those who labored in the Chicago packing houses. Packingtown’s meat …show more content…

“Jurgis sat with his hands clenched and beads of perspiration on his forehead, and there was a great lump in Ona’s throat, choking her… No, of course it was not fair, but then fairness had nothing to do with it, and of course they had not known it; they had not been intended to know it” (Sinclair 74).Sinclair is attempting to insinuate the hidden and evil parts of capitalism in the sense that the agent who sold Jurgis the house never told him about the interest, because Jurgis would not have bought the house if he had known that he would have to pay extra on top of the mortgage. Jurgis and his family have been cheated out of buying a house that they can never own, and the government allowed this to happen. Through the situation of the house, Sinclair represents capitalism in that its power is not apparent and exploitation is concealed and difficult to

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