The Jungle: A close examination

There are a million men and women, men and ladies and youngsters, who share the curse of the wage-slave who toil every hour they can stand and see, for just sufficient to maintain them alive who are condemned till the finish of their days to monotony and weariness, to hunger and misery, to heat and cold, dirt and disease, to ignorance and drunkenness and vice! And then turn them more than to me, and gaze upon the other side of the picture. There are a thousand-ten thousand, perhaps-who are master of these slaves, who personal their toil. They do practically nothing to earn what they obtain, they do not even have to ask for it-it comes to them of itself, their only care is to dispose of it. They live in such palaces, they riot in luxury and extravagance-such as no words can describe, as tends to make the imagination reel and stagger, makes the soul develop sick and faint. (363)

The Jungle, regarded Upton Sinclair’s greatest achievement, shows the deplorable conditions in meat packing plants, as nicely as moving the reader on the path to socialism, anything in which he genuinely believed in. In order for Sinclair to give accurate specifics in the book, he spent more than a year researching and writing about the situations on the meat packing plants in Chicago. This very first hand experience allowed for Sinclair to see the plight of the “wage-slaves.” At the turn of the century, no laws had been in spot to protect the workers or to regulate the shipment of meat.

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