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“They used me to the point where I had no body parts left to give, then they just tossed me into the trash can” –Kenny Dobbins. Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle and Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation: the Dark Side of the All-American Meal explore the exploitation of workers in the meatpacking industry. In The Jungle, Sinclair describes the various adversities that a workingman went through to survive in the early nineteen hundreds, through the life of a Lithuanian immigrant family living in Chicago. Likewise, Schlosser writes about the current challenges that workers of the meatpacking industry experience and the replaceable way they are treated. Although both Sinclair and Schlosser convey the apathetic usage and exploitation of workers in the meatpacking industry, Sinclair mainly focuses on the unsanitary environment in which the meatpackers work and the abuse conducted by their employers, while Schlosser discusses the injustices that workers confront because of the meatpacking industries avarice.

Sinclair and Schlosser express the uncontrolled power that the meatpacking industry has over its workers. In both books, the slaughterhouses manipulate their employees and use them until they have nothing left to offer. The workers are immigrants that come to America chasing the American dream of wealth and freedom, but find more hardships than they had in their native countries. The meatpacking industry takes advantage of the desperation of the workers and pays them the lowest wages for laborious jobs. In the beginning of The Jungle, Jurgis Rubkus, a Lithuanian immigrant and his family and friends arrive in America full of goals and the illusion of the perfect American life, but as the meatpacking industry abuses them, their ...

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...king workers by persuading the meatpacking industry to improve the sanitation of their workplace and increase their wages, while Schlosser focuses on the avarice that compels the meatpacking industry to mistreat their workers. Furthermore, Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906 and specifies changes that needed to happen at that time, yet the problems that occurred then, seem to be arising once more. As the consumers demand for meat increases, the exploitation of workers will also climb, the meatpacking industry may once again become the jungle it was once was (Schlosser xv).

Works Cited

Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2009.

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: the Dark Side of the All-American Meal. New York: HarperCollins, 2005

Schlosser, Eric. Forward. The Jungle. By Upton Sinclair. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. vii-xv.
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