Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Upton Sinclair really wrote The Jungle for the promotion of socialism, himself being a long-time socialist, but what really caught the attention of the public was the few pages of descriptions about the horrors of the meat-packing industry. He couldn't have been very happy that the book gained fame for a different reason, but nonetheless it did gain a significant amount of fame and get that message of socialism is better than communism out to the public widely. There are a lot of different characters in The Jungle, and they all have some significance in their roles. These characters vary widely in many aspects, including: professions, social status, and economic status.

The main character in the novel is Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant. His wife is Ona Lukoszaite, also from Lithuania. Their son is named Antanas, but he dies after not too long, which is really a turning point for Jurgis. Phil Jack Duane is an experienced and educated criminal who is also "politically connected". Connor is a foreman in Packingtown, politically connected through Scully, and a man who causes much trouble for Jurgis. Mike Scully is a powerful political leader in Packingtown. There are also the members of Ona's family, each of whom play smaller parts in the story.

The story opens with the party at Jurgis and Ona's wedding in America, but soon goes back to the time before they left Lithuania. Jurgis met Ona at a horse fair, and fell in love with her. Unfortunately, they were too poor to have a wedding, since Ona's father just died.
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