Socialism And Capitalism In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Stephanie Smogoleski CP English IV 4 B 4/8/2014 Poop The world consists of economic competition which throws people for a whirlwind. Many however do thrive, yet there are still some with scratched knee’s left to dig through the dumpster. Throughout the modern history of society, it has been a constant struggle for practically everyone. A world popular example of this struggle is Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel, The Jungle. The groundbreaking book takes readers along on a journey into a new world for a family of recent Lithuanian immigrants. The family trekked to America, which in the early twentieth century was said to be the land where any man willing to work hard during the day would make a fair amount of living and could support his family. It happens to be an ideal that every American should be familiar with at least one of the foundations that got the American society to where it is at today. Yet, while telling his story, Upton Sinclair put the reader in a metaphorical war against Capitalism. Sinclair’s disdain against capitalist society is present from cover to cover, shown through the enthusiasm of Jurgis to work, the struggle for workers of Packingtown, and the corruption that was put on “the man” at all levels of society. Both Capitalism and Socialism are highly relevant to The Jungle. Laissaz-faire Capitalism is the prime economic system in America. All around, it means that consumers and producers have the right to make their money and spend it through whatever legal means that they choose. Capitalism is the system that is most fitting to what people know as the “American Dream”. Some may believe that Capitalism is the cause for a large amount of the poverty that Americans face, but any capitalist would explain that inher... ... middle of paper ... ...cial Darwinism. Darwin created the idea of natural selection, proposing that those best suited to live well in their environments and those who die off. A relation to this idea is the corruption of Packingtown. This starts off from when the family is scammed by the real estate company and when Jurgis is conned into an election scam, eventually leading to him joining it himself. These instances show that the only way to survive in Packingtown is to cheat those around you. Instead of the popular “kill or be killed” term, The Jungle transformed it into something along the terms of “making a living off of others or screw yourself”. Sinclair brings these ideals into his novel to connect yet another evil of capitalism. It suggests that if everyone was equal, there wouldn’t be a need to scam others to make money, but because of the hardships it is the only way to thrive.
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