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Essay on Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Employment is hard to find and hard to keep and a job isn’t always what one hoped for. Sometimes jobs do not sufficiently support our lifestyles, and all too frequently we’re convinced that our boss’s real job is to make us miserable. However, every now and then there are reprieves such as company holiday parties or bonuses, raises, promotions and even a half hour or hour to eat lunch that allows escape from monotonous workloads. Aside from our complaints, employment today for majority of American’s isn’t totally dreadful, and there always lies opportunity for promotion. American’s did not always experience this reality in their work places though, and not long past are days of abysmal and disgusting work conditions. In 1906 Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” was published. His novel drastically transformed the way Americans felt about the unmitigated power corporations wielded in the ‘free’ market economy that was heavily propagandized at the turn of the century. Corporations do not have the same unscrupulous practices today because of actions taken by former President Theodore Roosevelt who felt deeply impacted by Sinclair’s famous novel. Back in early 1900’s in the meatpacking plants of Chicago the incarnation of greed ruled over the working man and dictated his role as a simple cog within an enormous insatiable industrial machine. Executives of the 1900’s meatpacking industry in Chicago, IL, conspired to work men to death, obliterate worker’s unions and lie to American citizens about what they were actually consuming in order to simply acquire more money.
In a most literal sense men’s bodies were routinely exploited for unrelenting dangerous labor then discarded as the human body began to break. Instead of being reward...


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...ead. Unfortunately this was the reality for typical immigrant workers like Sinclair’s fictitious Jurgis and most had no choice but to try and survive in the factories.



Works Cited

2Volume 24, Number 1. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle: Muckraking the Meat-Packing Industry [Internet]. Los Angeles, CA (USA): CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION; (fall) 2008 [cited 2014 Feb 16]. Available from: http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-24-1-b-upton-sinclairs-the-jungle-muckraking-the-meat-packing-industry.html

3Schlosser, Eric. 'I Aimed For The Public's Heart, And. . .hit It In The Stomach' [Internet]. Chicago (USA): Chicago Tribune; May 21, 2006 [cited 2014 Feb 16]. Available from: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-05-21/features/0605210414_1_upton-sinclair-trust-free/2

1Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. New York City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Co; 1906.



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