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Exposing Capitalism at Upton Sinclair's The Jungle Essay

Project id 1012868
Subject area Biology
Document type Essay
Words 3439
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Exposing Capitalism in The Jungle Though the functions of Upton Sinclair are not widely read now due to their primacy of social change as opposed to aesthetic pleasure, functions just like The Jungle are essential to understand in relation to the society which produced them. Sinclair was considered a component of the muckraking era, an age when social critics discovered all that was incorrect and tainted in politics and business and responded against it. The Jungle was written mostly as a brutal indictment of wage slavery, but its colorful depictions of the deplorable absence of sanitation involved in the meatpacking industry in Chicago led to public outrage to the stage at which Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. The Jungle is a product of this age when industry was rapidly growing and countless immigrants came to America, the perceived territory of honey and milk. What they frequently found instead were a shortage of jobs, low paying occupations in deplorable conditions and the realization that the American dream was not equally accessible to all. In the novel Sinclair denounces in brutal prose the deplorable states of this Chicago stockyard where the people workers are reduced into a degree lower than the dumb beasts they have to slaughter in the areas. Many immigrants were made to accept these conditions and low salaries because they did not have other choices. Jurgis wrestles for this issue if he thinks of turning down a project in the lowest of all jobs, a fertilizer plant employee, "As bad as they were, and producing all the sacrifices they were, would he dare to refuse any kind of work that was offered to him, be it as dreadful as ever it would? Could he dare to go home and eat bread tha...

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