Upton Sinclair 's The Jungle Essay

Upton Sinclair 's The Jungle Essay

Length: 1164 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were a time of great social and political change. With an influx of immigrants rushing to work in factories, the dynamics of culture were swiftly changing. The naïve, new Americans were easily persuaded into making decisions in voting that were greatly influenced by the corrupt individuals guiding them (Sinclair, 1906, pp. 97-98). Unknowingly, these immigrants were working very hard to prevent themselves from achieving the heavily desired “American Dream.” Upton Sinclair’s own political beliefs are reflected in his startling novel, The Jungle, which details a believable account of such an immigrant’s experience. Though it is often thought of as an exposure of the unsanitary meat packing industry, The Jungle’s representation of socialism and capitalism are also very prominent. Sinclair’s main character, Jurgis Rudkis, suffers greatly due to what Sinclair describes as America’s largest downfall: capitalism (Trott, 2006). The large themes of this novel demonize the structure of capitalism and call for its destruction. Through Jurgis, Sinclair represents the main tenets of capitalism in a negative manner and urges the reader to partake in the battle against this system by supporting socialism, capitalism’s more palatable rival.
Capitalism, also known as the free market system, took a stronghold in America around the time of the Industrial Revolution. In this era, many Americans worked in independent factories, for a boss who was not controlled by the United States government. Ideally, capitalism produces healthy supply and demand. Unfortunately, this laissez-faire economy often results in a greedy, wealthy owner class and a dependent working class. Rather than allowing their wealth to...


... middle of paper ...


...tory labor, even if this was not the author’s intent (Trott, 2006). The novel did, however, precede an era which heavily discussed and dissected capitalism and socialism. As the 1900s progressed, Upton Sinclair would have seen a rise in opposition to his beliefs with the Red Scare and the publishing of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (Winship, 2014). In our time, term “socialist” is now commonly used as slander against a supposedly overly liberal politician, and capitalism is a staple in American patriotism (Wing, 2012). Admittedly, our society has developed laws that prevent the tragedy that Jurgis Rudkus experienced from occurring, but our society is far from economically ideal. When half of American households hold only one percent of the country’s wealth, it is difficult to not wonder if Sinclair’s forewarning should have been more thoroughly examined (Froomkin, 2012).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Socialism and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle Essays

- Socialism and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle In 1906, Upton Sinclair's Book The Jungle was published in book form; it had previously been published as a newspaper serial in 1905. Few works of literature have changed history in the United States so much as The Jungle did when it was published. It has been said that the book led to the direct passage of the "Pure Food and Drug Act" of 1906 (Dickstein) and that it lead to a decades long decline in meat consumption is the United States. The book is set in the early 1900's in Chicago; a time when true industrialization had come to the United States, and immigrant populations soared (numbersusa.com)....   [tags: Upton Sinclair Jungle]

Free Essays
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle Essay

- 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....   [tags: Jungle Sinclair Upton]

Free Essays
1311 words (3.7 pages)

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair Essay

- The Jungle, written by Upton Sinclair was a very touching and motivating story. Sinclair aimed for our hearts, but instead, he hit our stomachs. The Jungle is a story of hardships and trouble, some successes and many failures as a family tries to achieve the "American Dream." In this book, "The Jurgis Ruckus' myth of failure is the other side of the Horatio Alger's myth of success." (xxvi) Although this book was written about the hardships of a family, it was not just a story for one to read and feel sympathy for the family, but it had many "real-life" reasons behind the events that went on and happened....   [tags: Upton Sinclair Jungle, analysis, review]

Better Essays
1846 words (5.3 pages)

Predators and Prey in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle Essay

- Predators and Prey in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle Throughout Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, the author demonstrates the greed of Capitalism and how it gives politicians and businessmen the ability to exploit the immigrants population. Sinclair's main purpose in naming the book, The Jungle, is to put the reader's focus on the heartless politics of Capitalism. If he had named the book Stockyards or Packingtown, a person's concentration may be solely on these places. It is evident that Capitalism does not equally distribute the industries ruling, but rather allows certain groups to dominate the workers....   [tags: Upton Sinclair Jungle Essays]

Free Essays
779 words (2.2 pages)

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle - Chicago Will Be Ours Essay

- The Jungle - Chicago Will Be Ours "Their home. Their home. They had lost it. Grief, despair, rage, overwhelmed him - what was any imagination of the thing to this heart-breaking, crush reality of it ... Only think what he had suffered for that house - what miseries they had all suffered for that house - the price they had paid for it!" "The Jungle", by Upton Sinclair, gives a heart breaking portrayal of the hardships faced by the countless poverty stricken laborers in the slaughter houses of Chicago....   [tags: Upton Sinclair The Jungle]

Better Essays
973 words (2.8 pages)

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle as Socialist Propaganda Essay

- The Jungle as Socialist Propaganda In the world of economic competition that we live in today, many thrive and many are left to dig through trashcans. It has been a constant struggle throughout the modern history of society. One widely prescribed example of this struggle is Upton Sinclair's groundbreaking novel, The Jungle. The Jungle takes the reader along on a journey with a group of recent Lithuanian immigrants to America. As well as a physical journey, this is a journey into a new world for them....   [tags: Upton Sinclair Jungle Essays]

Better Essays
3115 words (8.9 pages)

Essay about Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle

- Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle      Many immigrants are moving to the United States in the early 1900’s with the hopes of living the “American Dream.” However, that glittering American lifestyle is merely a distant ideal for the immigrants living in Packingtown, the Lithuanian meatpacking district of Chicago. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle portrays life through the eyes of a poor workingman struggling to survive in this cruel environment, where the desire for profit among the capitalist meatpacking bosses and the criminals makes the lives of the working class a nearly unendurable struggle for survival....   [tags: Upton Sinclair Jungle Essays]

Better Essays
607 words (1.7 pages)

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle - Socialism Essay

- The Jungle                   Socialism            During the late 1800's and early 1900's hundreds of thousands of European immigrants migrated to the United States of America. They had aspirations of success, prosperity and their own conception of the American Dream.  The majority of the immigrants believed that their lives would completely change for the better and the new world would bring nothing but happiness.  Advertisements that appeared in Europe offered a bright future and economic stability to these naive and hopeful people.  Jobs with excellent wages and working conditions, prime safety, and other benefits seemed like a chance in a lifetime to these struggling foreigne...   [tags: Upton Sinclair The Jungle]

Free Essays
436 words (1.2 pages)

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle - It’s a Jungle Out There Essay

- The Jungle                   It’s a Jungle Out There               Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle (1906) gives an in depth look at the lives of the immigrant workers here in America.  In fact the look was so in depth that the Pure Food and Drug Act was created as a result.  Many people tend to focus purely on the unsanitary conditions instead of the hardships faced by the workers.  Actually I think that Sinclair doesn’t want the focus on the meatpacking, but on overcoming obstacles, especially through Socialism.  Sinclair was himself very outspoken when it came to Socialism....   [tags: Upton Sinclair The Jungle]

Free Essays
713 words (2 pages)

Upton Sinclair's Purpose in Writing The Jungle Essay examples

- Upton Sinclair's Purpose in Writing The Jungle Upton Sinclair wrote this book for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, he tries to awaken the reader to the terrible living conditions of immigrants in the cities around the turn of the century. Chicago has the most potent examples of these conditions. Secondly, he attempts to show the advantages of socialism in helping to remedy the problems of a society such as the one that exists in Chicago at this time. Sinclair accomplishes his objectives with an extremely powerful story....   [tags: Upton Sinclair Jungle Essays]

Better Essays
1128 words (3.2 pages)