Upton Sinclair 's The Jungle Essay

2164 Words Sep 19th, 2016 9 Pages
The Jungle’s purpose is to illustrate just what happens when the American Dream does not come true. It is not for a lack of determination that its protagonist does not succeed with abundance -- nor ethic or spirit; he merely falls victim to a system in which those at the top succeed with abundance at the severe expense of those left with nothing at the bottom. The book’s author, Upton Sinclair, sought to show America the cost of its capitalist system. Born into a poor family with wealthy relatives, Sinclair was aware of social and economic disparity in America from a young age (The Jungle v). The Jungle is the result of Upton Sinclair working undercover for seven weeks in Chicago’s meatpacking industry in 1904, as well as the socialist sentiments which he had developed over the past few years of his life leading up to the book’s release. Well-educated and a notoriously dutiful writer and student, Upton Sinclair is regarded to this day as one of the most highly influential and successful “muckraker” writers of all time – with The Jungle being considered one of his greatest works.
The Jungle’s thesis is rather simplistic; Sinclair argues that the American Dream would be better suited to a socialist environment than America’s capitalist one. In order to prove this point, the novel focuses heavily on portraying the hardships of the unskilled worker; more specifically, the hardships of those working in Chicago’s notorious stockyards. Jurgis Rudkus, the book’s leading man, is a…

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