The Jungle book review Essay

This essay has a total of 1755 words and 7 pages.


The Jungle book review





The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, is the story of an immigrant’s life in industrialized
America. By writing this book Upton Sinclair is attempting to show people that Socialism
is superior to Capitalism. Whether Sinclair’s views on the matter are right or
wrong are not important. What is of value is whether or not Sinclair does a good job of
convincing the reader of his opinions and ideas. In that sense Sinclair does an excellent
job and inevitably succeeds. Upton Sinclair is a convincing writer because he creates
characters that the reader can sympathize with and he allows them to be hurt and torn
apart by an unforgiving society. He writes about every horrific thing that could happen
to one person and says that in a Socialist society these kinds of things would never
happen. He is basically presenting to the reader every terrible thing that can happen in
a Capitalist society and then showing all the great things that will come to be in a
Socialist society. Sinclair wrote all this because he believed one person really could
change society, and he did just that, becoming a muckraker in the process. He wanted to
show how people were being used like animals to make the industries rich while the workers
were thrown away when they were no longer needed.

The Jungle depicts the life of Jurgis Rudkus as he decides to leave everything he has in
Lithuania and move to America with the woman he loves and some members of his and her
family. They make it to America and are overwhelmed by all the new things they see.
Things begin well for Jurgis; he quickly finds a job, as do the other family members. The
family saves up enough money to buy a house and Jurgis and Ona get married but their good
fortune does not last long. The family finds out from one of their neighbors that their
“dream” home is really an old house that has been repainted. They learn about
the hidden costs of the house which include interest and taxes. This is terrible news,
for the family has yet to pay off the wedding costs. Jurgis, always strong, is not
distraught. He simply looks to the future and thinks to himself, “I will work
harder,” just as he says whenever things look bad.

Jurgis becomes even more committed to supporting the family when Ona and Jurgis’
first child arrives. They name the baby boy Antanas, after Jurgis’ father.
Unfortunately Jurgis sprains his ankle at work one day and when he is finally able to
return there is no place for him any longer. He is forced to work in the fertilizer mill,
the worst place a man can work. Now that things are becoming so difficult, Jurgis begins
to drink as well as grow apart from Ona. After coming home late a number of times Jurgis
finds out that Ona has been raped by her boss, Connor. In a mad rage, Jurgis runs to
Ona’s workplace and severely beats Connor. Jurgis is sent to jail and sentenced to
thirty days in prison. This would not have been so devastating except for the fact that
the whole family loses their jobs because of the word spread by Connor. There is nothing
he can do but sit in his cell and wonder as the family struggles without him.

When Jurgis is finally released from prison, he walks twenty miles back to Packingtown
only to find that the house has been sold and Ona is giving birth two months early in a
dirty boarding house. Sadly, the midwife Jurgis begs to help him can neither save Ona nor
the baby. Jurgis is reminded that his son is depending on him, but he knows he has been
blacklisted by Connor and cannot find work. Luckily, one of the children meets a social
worker that helps Jurgis find a job at a steel mill. Just as Jurgis begins to settle into
a new life, he returns home one day to find his only reason for living, his Antanas, has
died in a freak accident.

This is the final straw for Jurgis. Stricken with grief and horror, Jurgis jumps on the
first rail car he finds and rides out into the country in an attempt to put all that has
happened behind him. Jurgis returns to the city when winter arrives and finds a job
digging a tunnel. Jurgis suffers an accident while working and is sent to the hospital
where he spends his Christmas, only to be released in the dead of winter. Jurgis is
forced to resort to begging and living in saloons. He happens to find a drunken man who
invites him to his home where he is treated to a huge feast and given a hundred-dollar
bill before he is kicked out of the house by the butler.

As Jurgis attempts to change the hundred-dollar bill in a saloon, he is cheated out of his
money and is arrested after he attacks the bartender. He is sent to jail and meets a
Continues for 4 more pages >>




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