Upton Sinclair's Jungle Conditions

1059 Words5 Pages
The Cruel Conditions of A Jungle
Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle, introduces Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant who enters America with his wife Ona. Jurgis is a strong individual who is eager to learn more about the American dream, but the miserable working and living conditions in Packingtown starts to make an impact in his life that will cause him to struggle in supporting his family.
Firstly, this story takes place in the twentieth century, and depicts a Lithuanian family who decides to move to Chicago trying to find a better life. They soon realize that the conditions of the factory work environment are very harsh. In order to show Jurgis’s emotions towards the city of Packingtown Sinclair uses the metaphor “... all life, was to
…show more content…
Sinclair uses “the shackles,” (Sinclair 243) that have been holding him back to symbolize the poverty, the cruel meat-packing industry, and the hardships for an immigrant in Chicago. All these things that have happened impact his life and do not allow him to live his life in Packingtown the way he expected to when first arriving. Sinclair even uses symbolism with the title of the book itself. The story’s title The Jungle symbolizes the wild nature of capitalism. Packingtown, the place that Jurgis has moved into contrasts to a jungle in the sense that the rich are superior to the poor. The competition for jobs is very important for everyone because it is how they take care of their families. In the jungle there is always an animal that is more dominant than the others and the factory owners represent that because of how much more they are superior than all of the enslaved workers that are working for them. For Jurgis and his family it is a jungle where they are living because of everything going on around them. “There is one kind of prison where the man is behind bars, and everything that he desires is outside; and there is another kind where the things are behind the bars, and the man is outside” (Sinclair 279). This explains the imprisonment that Jurgis has had to go through because of the unfair and unjust problems in
Open Document