Summary Of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Book Review #3: The Jungle The renowned book, The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, reveals many harsh truths that had been hidden during the Gilded Age, and brings light to the conditions of the working class of the time. It is obvious from the beginning that Sinclair’s purpose in writing The Jungle is to address the faults within the relationship between politics, economics, and society, by creating sympathy for the poor, working, and essentially enslaved laborers, which generally consisted of immigrants. Sinclair firmly argues against the ideas of capitalism by tearing down the “American Dream” and revealing the ugly truth behind a façade of myths. He goes on to favor socialist ideas, and expresses extreme disapproval towards the corruption and …show more content…

When Jurgis first arrives to America, he is horrified by the filthy conditions people live in, but continues to be optimistic, ambitious, and caring. Jurgis’ family had come to America because Jonas, Teta’s brother, told them about a man, Jokubas, who had prospered in America. However, when they happened to meet him, they found that he was financially unstable, and struggling, proving the American Dream to be a façade. His family continues on to be exploited by many businessmen, like when they bought a house due to misleading advertisements which contained hidden expenses, and when a politician showed Jurgis how to vote. This, along with how meat packing is done for maximum profit by selling even filthy meat, shows how corrupt capitalism had made America. When living in filth causes Teta’s crippled son to die, and others to become ill, survival becomes the number one priority, driving the once happy family apart and causing desperation. Towards the end, however, after Ona dies and Jurgis’ son, Antanas, also dies of drowning in mud, Jurgis leaves, resorts to alcoholism, and comes across the life of crime, which is more rewarding than an honest life. This proves Sinclair’s point that capitalism causes a desperation that can rob people of virtues and morals, just like how Jurgis started stealing and exploiting other naïve people like him in the beginning, making capitalism a vicious cycle of survival of the

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