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Analysis Of The Jungle By Upton Sinclair

1050 words - 5 pages

Critics often argue that Upton Sinclair, author of many classic American novels including The Jungle, was cynical and bitter even. However if one were to dig just a bit deeper they may realize that Sinclair was spot on in his idea that this “American dream” that our country sells is actually a work of fiction.
In his book The Jungle, Sinclair, points out the flaws of the American dream. Many immigrants traveled thousands of miles aboard, cramped, disease infested, ships with hope of coming to this great land of the free where new opportunities would arise for them if they just worked hard and stayed true to their morals. Sounds pretty great right? Well as soon as these hopeful immigrants ...view middle of the document...

This led to bitterness and resentment in Jurgis’s heart and in turn he becomes a homeless thief, political heeler, strikebreaker and street beggar thus worsening the bad image that emigrants already portrayed.
Sinclair, precocious as he was, was aware of the injustices around him from an early age. He was exposed to both the extremely wealthy and the supper poor from the beginning. His father was a bootlegger who spent most of his time in a drunken daze, while his grandparents, who he with lived most of the time, were very wealthy and lived a lavish lifestyle. He later credited these disparities for his views on social activism (GradeSaver 1999-2014). Sinclair’s affinity for knowledge started at a very young age. He even taught himself to read at just five years old. Later in 1892, fourteen-year-old Upton passed the entrance exam to the College of New York City. While there he began his career as a pulp fiction writer. Then in 1901 he published his first novel, Springtime and Harvest, which was about penniless lovers. However it wasn’t until 1904 when his next novel, Manassas, caught the eye of Fred Warren, editor of the Socialist Weekly, that his career as a muckraking journalist really took off. Warren bought from Sinclair serial rights for a novel about immigration workers in the meatpacking industry which sent Sinclair to Chicago to write his most famous book The Jungle. Sinclair spent seven weeks in Chicago living among meatpacking workers where he gathered the gruesome information that he would use to write The Jungle (Spiegel, p. ix).
Reviews of his book stormed in some from newspapers who did not validate his story saying it was merely a work of fiction and others which warned people of the horrors in this novel to be extremely accurate. In April of 1906 The Bookman called Sinclair “ignorant” and “prejudice” saying “undoubtedly the impression that persists is that the horrors of the life were exaggerated… Jurgis Rudkus is neither individual nor type. He is a mere jumble of impossible qualities...

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