Critical Analysis Of The Jungl

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Critical Analysis Of The Jungl


Long and tedious, with the purpose of showing the unsanitary conditions of the Chicago
meat industry, The Jungle is a book that was written by Upton Sinclair. After his
manuscript was completed in 1905, it appeared serially in Appeal to Reason, a widely
circulated socialist periodical. This initial publication caused much controversy and
immediate reaction. Much difficulty was encountered, however, when he tried to get it
published in book form. None of the publishers wanted it published completely in its
current form, and Sinclair didn't want to cut any of it out. It was finally published in
1906, by Sinclair himself with considerable financial aid from Jack London. There is no
table of contents as it is written in the form of a novel. Likewise, there are very few
footnotes and the footnotes it does have are on how to pronounce things. There is a
bibliography in the back which lists all of his sources for information on meatpacking and
his other documentation. For the most part it is historically accurate, as it tells the
life of a man who works in a realistic meat packing setting. Because it is fictional,
though, it probably would not be much of an aid to a historical researcher. The novel
itself, containing over Three hundred pages, is rather long and tediously boring.

Sinclair's central purpose in writing The Jungle was to persuade people to join the
socialist party and to adopt the view that socialism is the only way to conquer the
capitalistic empires that abuse the working class. The socialist ethic is that the general
public will have joint ownership of the factory. Thus, they will finally be able to
eliminate the undesirable working conditions and to advocate new, more comfortable working
conditions. Sinclair uses many clever devices in order to get his readers to agree with
this ethic. First, he keeps the many characters basically flat and two-dimensional
throughout the whole novel. After their initial introduction, they are not developed any
further or given any more human characteristics. They are outlined by what the author
tells you they do; no thought or decision making on their part is ever shown. He also
keeps all of the characters at the same level. The reader never knows any more about one
character's personality than he does about another character's personality. He only knows
basically nothing about either character's personality. Another device Sinclair employs is
leaving only one option, one alternative, to being held captive by capitalism. Throughout
the entire novel, life goes downhill for Jurgis Rudkis. At the beginning, he and his
family are relatively happy. They buy a house and all get jobs. But as the story
progresses, their situation constantly gets worse. First, the growing payments on the
house cause Ona, Jurgis's lover, and her brother to have to get jobs. Jurgis's father is
then killed because of the bad working conditions. Spraining his ankle at the plant,
Jurgis is unable to work. When he recovers, he is unable to find work because of his bad
ankle. He finally gets a job at the fertilizer plant, a place avoided by all men if
possible. He starts to drink in order to forget about his job. One day, he finds out that
Ona has been seduced and he goes and beats up Connor, the man who seduced Ona. For this he
is placed in jail. When he finally gets out, he finds that his family has lost the house
and that Ona is dying in childbirth. After her death, he gets drunk and disappears for a
while. When he returns, he is in and out of different jobs until eventually he is going to
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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