Successes And Failures In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle “hit [the readers] in their stomach” rather than in their hearts like he had hoped to. Steve Trott thoroughly writes about Upton Sinclair’s successes and failures as a writer in his piece, “Upton Sinclair and The Jungle.” Sinclair had written the novel in hopes of drawing attention to the “appalling conditions and squalor of wage-laborers under capitalism…[b]ut his objective was lost on the public, overshadowed by unsanitary conditions and inadequate regulation in the meat processing plants” (Trott 2). Because Sinclair based the novel off of a fictional character, Jurgis Rudkus, his reliability fell short. Although the plot made the novel easier to read, the audience was too distracted by the grotesque descriptions …show more content…

He led “the intervention of President Roosevelt and the subsequent passage of the Meat Inspection Act of 1906” (Trott 2). How successful the act became is beside the point because no matter what it had to have been better than the guidelines that were previously set forth. Inspectors were stationed throughout the meat packing industry, but the problem was “while [they] were talking you could hardly be so ungrateful as to notice that a dozen carcasses were passing them untouched” (Sinclair 39). Along with that insight, Sinclair was profound in using memorable …show more content…

His words and phrases could truly make a reader cringe in disgust. That is what hindered Sinclair’s success in drawing attention to the horrid working conditions that wage laborers were under. Phrases like, “spoiled meat went to be doctored” (Sinclair 39), hinted to the audience that bad meat wasn’t thrown out like it should have been, but rather covered up and blended in with the “good” meat. A reader can draw this conclusion because they later read about the white moldy sausage that was “dosed with borax and glycerine...and made over again for home consumption” (Sinclair 145). If a reader is not considered a wage laborer, their attention is going to be drawn towards the topic that affects them most. The intense details of the unsanitary conditions simply overshadow the true purpose behind Sinclair’s writing because it is more memorable. In today’s world if people heard about “meat that had tumbled out on the floor, in the dirt and sawdust, where workers had tramped and spit and uncounted amount of germs…thousands of rats [racing] about on it” (Sinclair 1450, there is no doubt that they would never consider eating in the place that was just documented about. While reading about poisoned rats being thrown into the food hopper along with their droppings, and the bread that killed them, it is nearly impossible for a reader to continue on without cringing at the thought of such filth. After reading about an incident that would affect

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