Summary Of The Jungle By Upton Sinclair

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Cannibalism was common in America in the early 1900s. Meatpacking workers often fell into vats and their parts would be labeled as lard. Upton Sinclair suggests this in The Jungle, a novel intended to attack capitalism and promote socialism by telling the horrifying story of Jurgis Rudkus, a meatpacking factory worker. Jurgis suffers tragedies like imprisonment and losing his wife, all of which Sinclair argues is caused by Capitalism. Capitalism destroys Jurgis, and it is not until he finds socialism that he finds meaning in life, thus supporting Sinclair’s argument that capitalism is destructive and inhuman, while socialism is constructive and benevolent. The Jungle, however, failed to persuade the general population to adopt socialistic ideologies and instead …show more content…

While Sinclair intended to expose the problems plaguing the working class in The Jungle and support socialism, it was still a work of fiction. No one would buy or read it if Sinclair accurately depicted real life, so he had to rely on a sensationalized style to garner purchases. Unfortunately for Sinclair, his sensationalized style only manifested itself in one chapter. The description of the meatpacking process and the factory in chapter 14 was so compelling that it seemingly made the rest of the novel irrelevant: “This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat would be shoveled into carts, and the man who did the shoveling would not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one...There was no place for the men to wash their hands before they ate their dinner, and so they made a practice of washing them in the water that was to be ladled into the sausage” (Sinclair 143). The events described by Sinclair were so abominable that he needed to explicitly remind the reader that, although The Jungle is fiction, the atrocious details of meatpacking were were “no fairy story and no joke.” And even then most people

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