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Who Is Upton Sinclair's The Jungle?

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Scottish-born Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was an American industrialist. After immigrating to the United States in 1835, he amassed a fortune in the steel industry making him one of the world’s richest men. His rags-to-riches story epitomizes the immigrant success story. While Carnegie was a firm believer in the importance of philanthropy and the potential of the laboring class, the rise of business and industry created a widening gap between the rich in the poor by the late nineteenth century. This discrepancy of wealth and unjust activity within business and political enterprises became commonly discussed in writings of the day.
Over the course of seven weeks in 1904, journalist Upton Sinclair entered Chicago’s meatpacking industry and …show more content…
In February 1906, it was released as a novel. While Sinclair’s purpose was to expose the problems that arose among the working class in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, his graphic and nauseating descriptions of the meat packing industry led to the passage of the Pure Food Act and Drug Act in 1906 under the Roosevelt Administration.
The Jungle is Sinclair's fictionalized account of Chicago's Packingtown. The title reflects the brutality he witnessed in the meatpacking business and centers on a young man, Jurgis Rudkis, an immigrant from Lithuania to Chicago. Full of hope for a better life, he is soon disillusioned by the exploitation of workers for the benefit of industry. Almost as an afterthought, Sinclair included a chapter on how diseased, rotten, and contaminated meat products were processed, doctored by chemicals, and mislabeled for sale to the public. Despite his chronicles of worker treatment, this gained the most …show more content…
Stanislovas is sent at a young age to work in the factory in order to help with his family’s rent. In order get around the issue of his age, he is taken to a priest where he obtains a certificate “to the effect that he was two years older than he was” and to avoid conflict with the “law”. Stanislovas, upon arriving to the factory, is eagerly ushered into the factory and given work. Sinclair wrote of Stanislovas’ fate: “Hour after hour, day after day, year after year, it was fated that he should stand upon a certain square foot of floor...making never a motion and thinking never a thought, save for the setting of lard cans.” This depiction of labor in the novel characterizes children as machines; children in these factories worked day in and day out, without a proper

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