A Blatant Agenda

1293 Words6 Pages
Historically, writers have infused their works with political biases and agendas in the hopes of swaying readers to their cause. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is a prominent example of this phenomena. Hailing from the early 20th century, The Jungle addresses the poor working conditions in which the emigrant workers of the time would labor, working up to what equates to a socialist rant at the end of the novel. Upton Sinclair's political biases in The Jungle are in no way cleverly tied into the story, in fact, Sinclair egregiously abused the plot of the novel as a tool to mercilessly drive the socialist agenda into the reader, forgoing good writing convention in favor of immature drivel, and summing up the novel with an ending that does little more than paint socialists as naïve, overly optimistic extremists. An interesting, well written plot with broad appeal is crucial towards making a story marketable to a diverse audience. This is the first, biggest area where The Jungle struggles to help, and more likely hurts, the socialist cause. Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle with the intent of bringing his agenda to the masses, however, he disregarded the notion that said masses would want any form of plot or story unrelated to the message he was trying to relay to his readers. Consequently, The Jungle is built entirely on a storyline fit to the author's personal agenda, and everything in the novel serves to provide an opportunity for Sinclair to make a statement. Take for instance, the cascade of mini catastrophes about half way through the story when Jurgis returns home from jail for assaulting the man that raped his wife. Not only does Jurgis experience a term in jail, immediately upon his return home, Ona goes into labor, and then ... ... middle of paper ... ...considered writing a novel that would be more accessible to the general public, not only by broadening the scope of the book to include themes other than the political issues of the time, mapping out a mature, entertaining plot, but also by creating accurate, non-polarizing portrayals of life in a capitalist society and then finishing the book with a neat, carefully written ending, he might have accomplished something by it. However, Sinclair's lazy, incomplete attempt at a book is centered on gratuitous gore and matters which an ordinary reader may find to be “boring” or “unsettling”. Consequently, very little of the social change that occurred both before, and shortly after the publishing of this story should be credited to the work of Upton Sinclair, but to a public which, as a whole, acquired an increased understanding of the problems with the capitalist system.
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