Essay about The Power of Upton Sinclair and The Jungle

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The Power of Upton Sinclair and The Jungle

The novel "The Jungle", is a hybrid of history, literature, and propaganda. It was written in 1906 by Upton Sinclair, to demonstrate the control big business had over the average working man, and his family. Sinclair was one of the most famous muckrakers in history; he exposed scandals and political corruption in the early nineteen hundreds (Literature 572). He attempted to show his idea of the solution to this problems of the times: socialism. At the time Sinclair wrote, communism was not yet around, so the anti-socialistic fears were not yet aroused.

The socialist party, to which Sinclair belonged since he was twenty-four, was moderately popular in certain areas
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The reporting done for this novel was intensive. Sinclair double checked his facts, met with immigrants who spoke English, and settlement house workers. By doing this, he made sure that no one would be able to prove his book wasn't true: he took his novel seriously. He believed that the appalling conditions, which the poor immigrant families were trapped in, could only be stopped by promulgating his knowledge across the nation. At first publishers wouldn't handle his book, mostly because of its controversial standing's. The book was finally published after a company sent out an independent investigator to determine if Sinclair's accusations was accurate. Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," was finally published in January of 1906.

While the novel fictional, in that the family it is written about is imaginary, everything else- all the facts about the conditions in which they live, and the oppression, are sadly historical. The conditions written about in this book are sad, pathetic, and degrading. Working class men and women in this time period began work early in life; as soon as they could convince a priest to sign a document stating they were sixteen, up until their death. The death of a family member usually ruined the entire families chances of limited success: not only grief but funeral bills set the family deep into debt and depression. The children's lack of education, which was due to the fact that they were too

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