Waged Slavery Literary Analysis

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As once said by the great W.E.B Du Bois, “All art is propaganda and ever must be, despite the wailing of the purist… I do not care a damn for any art that is not used for propaganda.” During the time of the Gilded Age, there was a massive amount of unfairness, mistreatment, and inhumane acts being committed. However, there was people known as Muckrakers that sought to expose the companies committing these acts through photography, and more popular, socialist novels. Unlike any other socialist novel, The Jungle used journey of an immigrant family to reach the public about the problems that Immigrants faced the theme of “Waged Slavery” and the basis of Social Darwinism to raise awareness of the Socialist Movement in America First, Sinclair compares the conditions of immigrants to that of slaves. Upton Sinclair wanted the reader to fully understand what is going on within the lives of the immigrants, so he compared their current scenarios to older scenarios that the reader would have known about. For example, Sinclair wrote, “Here was a population, low-class and mostly foreign…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.”(P. 113) In this…show more content…
Upton Sinclair took the themes of Waged Slavery and Social Darwinism to create this visual representation of a Jungle in the form of political machines and corrupt bosses that would abuse of immigrants that were in the search for the “American Dream.” Just like Upton said, “All art is propaganda. It is universally and inescapably propaganda; sometimes unconsciously, but often deliberately, propaganda,”(Sinclair) and indeed this art is propaganda that served it’s purpose of delivering a strong story on the behalf of the
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