The Importance Of Capitalism In The Jungle By Upton Sinclair

1289 Words 6 Pages
Arguably, no piece of literature (besides Uncle Tom’s Cabin) has been more influential than The Jungle, written by Upton Sinclair. Sinclair “aimed at the public’s heart” when exposing the hardships “wage-slaves” had to endure in a capitalistic society; however, by accident, he “hit [the public] in the stomach” when the only reforms were in the meat-packing industry (What Life Means to Me). Jurgis, Sinclair’s example of a “wage-slave”, changed throughout the novel and was initially optimistic when coming to America; slowly he began to experience the corruption of Packingtown, but he remained hopeful; and finally he discovered capitalism as the root of all evil in society and how socialism is the needed revolution to end corruption. The Jungle …show more content…
The family truthfully believed that America would give them the opportunity to become rich and have a better life than what they would have in Lithuania. Jurgis was strong, mentally and physically, and was optimistic to start his life in a capitalistic society. He felt able to achieve the American Dream: he recently bought a house for a “good deal”, and had a family (Jurgis was going to be married to Ona soon). Jurgis was even promised a job and would follow all of his orders obediently. He found the horrid, capitalistic process of killing hogs so efficiently “like a wonderful poem”, where he found himself “staring open-mouthed, lost in wonder” (47 The Jungle); Jurgis found having such a wonderful job “was a blessing to be grateful for” (52 The Jungle). He believed he was achieving the American Dream, and did not learn, yet, of the problems of a capitalistic society. However, Jurgis will be swindled and tricked by those around him and will be negatively affected by capitalism for the first (and for many more) …show more content…
He decides to roam the country, but eventually returns back to Chicago. There Jurgis becomes part of the criminal underground in Chicago, doing shady business and becoming a boss of a meatpacking plant (where his first job was). Eventually, Jurgis assaults Connor again, loses his somewhat high-ranking position as a criminal, and becomes homeless once more. Jurgis roams Chicago without any purpose, yet again. He eventually goes to listen to a politician speak, is kicked out for falling asleep, and learns of news of Marija’s whereabouts. Jurgis discovers Marija is part of a brothel, a house where men can visit prostitutes. Jurgis goes there, and finds Marija (and gets caught up in a police raid). Marija (once out of jail) tells Jurgis to return back home to Elzbieta where he is needed. Jurgis listens to Marija, and returns home, but decides to listen to another speech. This orator grasps Jurgis’ attention by appealing to his (and truly the whole audience’s) hopeless, desperate emotions; he is interested in learning more about the subject matter ― Socialism. Jurgis becomes part of the Socialist movement by becoming an active socialist, truly believing in its promised effects. After he becomes a socialist, Jurgis gets another job from a socialist friend at a hotel. At the hotel, Jurgis works extremely hard (even harder than when he first immigrated to America before he was “sped up”). Jurgis “would have cut off one hand for”

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