The Naturalist Ideas

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Important aspects of naturalism are the ideas that people are essentially animals responding to their basic urges without rational thought, and the insignificance of man to others and nature. In The Jungle, Sinclair portrays Jurgis as a man slowly changing into animal as well as a man whose actions are irrelevant to the rest of the corrupt capitalist world of Chicago in order to show the reader the naturalist ideas of the struggles between man and society. Jurgis's struggle between human thought and animalistic tendencies are evident in several major events in the book. In the beginning of Jurgis's life in Chicago, he can disregard most of the obstacles thrown at him by the corruption of man and keep his rational thinking dominant of his animal-like instincts. However, when Jurgis finds out that Connor has violated, harassed, threatened, and raped his wife Ona, he reached his breaking point. Jurgis was so overwhelmed with rage, he reverted back to his primal instincts and "sunk his teeth into the man's cheek" (153). We again see Jurgis "animal instincts" when he escapes from the city and lives in the countryside from a while. He has given up on being rational and has resorted to use his survival instincts like stealing and scavenging to survive. Sinclair shows us how these instincts will not help us survive in the end. Whenever Jurgis behaves like an animal, he is punished in some kind of way like an animal. When he attacks Connor, he is sent to prison and when he is in the rural area, he does not get any money to help him survive. Moreover, Jurgis does everything he can to help his family and himself survive, but regardless of his actions, the corrupt society plows through him without remorse or regret. Jurgis's op... ... middle of paper ... ...te the flawed example of muckraking by The Jungle, the main reason for the use of muckraking was and still is an effective way of revealing the corruption of politics and businesses. Although The Jungle may not have served Sinclair purposes for social reform, it brought reform to the way food is handled. Without the enlightening view of the meat-packing business, even if false, the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act may never have been created. We still see examples of muckraking today from Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me to magazines like People, Time, Cosmopolitan, and National Geographic. Muckraking is one of the few ways that the average person can find out about information quickly and easily. In certain cases, it even connects the nations together in order to fight a common enemy, whether it is political, social, natural, or supernatural.

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