Industrialism Exposed In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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America in the early 1900’s was an explosion of industrialism, with poverty on its heels. From a distance, America appeared as a magnificent wonderland filled with amazing opportunities. However, as many immigrants soon discovered, America was not the magical kingdom it was made out to be. With levels of poverty and disease rising, and unsafe workplaces widespread, America was built on pillars of corruption and muck. Upton Sinclair shared these beliefs, and in 1906 he decided to help open the eyes of the American public to the horrors behind closed factory doors by publishing his book, The Jungle. Upton Sinclair uses the tragic story of a family of immigrants traveling from Lithuania to express his concern for the future of the working class…show more content…
Jurgis’s dad, Dede Antanas, succumbs to the cold and his damp, dangerous working conditions and dies while working in the pickling rooms at a meat factory. The time for the wedding mentioned in the beginning has arrived, and the outcome leaves the poor family with more than one hundred dollars in debt. Afraid of the consequences of not being able to pay it off, more of the family works harder than ever, including Ona in a ham sewing factory, and eventually the young boys of the family as newsboys. Despite this rising debt, Marija’s factory closes and Jurgis is cut back on his hours. Outraged at this unfairness, Jurgis, as well as the rest of the eligible family members, join the Union and start to participate passionately. Spring enters the scene with heavy rains and even heavier mud. With this participation in the Union, the family becomes more aware of the corruption and unfairness surrounding Packingtown. This new information is deadly to the family, as now that they can recognize the injustice, they are quick to point it out. This greatly hurts the family, as Marija is fired for speaking up, around the time Ona is about to give birth to Jurgis’s son. Laying eyes on his son, Jurgis is filled with more determination than ever to make ends meet for his family and become a strong supporter. Unfortunately for the new father, Jurgis hurts his ankle and is unable to work for a while. With…show more content…
Once found, Jurgis is shocked to find the conditions of the family. Weak as she is, Ona has gone into premature labor and is dying. After enlisting the help of a midwife, Jurgis spends his night drinking, trying to forget his struggles and the pain he is experiencing. Returning home early in the morning, Jurgis finds that the baby had died, and Ona was not far behind. Racing into the bedroom, Jurgis speaks to Ona one last time before she dies, leaving him no one left to care about in the world except his son. Furious with grief, Jurgis takes the rest of the family’s money and goes to drink his sorrows away. Living with the purpose of supporting his sole son, Jurgis works harder than ever to support his family, even though it means only visiting on the weekends. One tragic weekend, Jurgis returns home to discover that his son has died by drowning in the streets of mud. With nothing keeping him in the broken city, Jurgis heads out to the plains, doing odd jobs for meals and stealing or picking fruit when he is turned down. Jurgis refuses to work for any man for a committed time, and soon begins to feel the stresses of city life fade away. He eventually starts to work in the fields, as it is harvesting time, and makes a decent sum of money. When winter strikes once again, and Jurgis can no longer bear to sleep outside, he travels back to the city in hopes of finding work and a

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