Upton Sinclair's The Jungle: Negative Effects Of Socialism

1058 Words5 Pages

Upton Sinclair, a well-known muckraker of the early 1900s, wrote a novel called The Jungle, which highlighted the negative effects of capitalism and the corruption of society at the time. Sinclair wrote the novel with his primary goal being to bring awareness to society’s corruption and to push forward the ideas of socialism. To accomplish this, a connection is established between the reader and the protagonist, Jurgis Rudkus, who struggles under a capitalist society. The antagonist is then presented as not one single character, but as the system of capitalism that oppresses workers like Jurgis and his family, as well as the economic structure of society that puts wealth and power into the hands of only a few individuals. The first incident of capitalistic oppression occurs when the family first arrives in America and buys a home. They are lead to believe that they would own a new, finished home, but are left with an unfinished home and over a thousand dollars in debt. Each time the family is mislead or they experience a …show more content…

He feels the pressure and the injustice of the system more than ever during his time in jail. Jurgis’ experience with the policemen of Packingtown supported his role as a protagonist. “On his way to his cell a burly policeman cursed him because he started down the wrong corridor [...] Jurgis did not even lift his eyes— he had lived two years and a half in Packingtown, and he knew what the police were. It was as much as a man’s very life was worth to anger them...” (Sinclair 130). This passage is a strong example of situational irony. The policemen are meant to protect the people of Packingtown, but it is clear that the people fear them. This is Jurgis’ first arrest. Despite his brief criminal record, he knows not to expect respect from the policemen. This passage exists mainly to support Sinclair’s viewpoint on the corruption of the

Show More
Open Document