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Capitalism In The Jungle Upton Sinclair

1766 words - 8 pages

“The Jungle” novel was written by an American journalist/ novelist name Upton Sinclair in 1906. “The Jungle” made a big hit and became his best-selling novel because it revealed so well about the economical and social reality during that time. The book mainly described about how unsanitary the meat packing industry was operated in Chicago and the miserable life of the immigrants going along with the industry. Through the story around the life and family of Jurgis Rudjus, a Lithuanian immigrant who comes to America with the belief to change their life and live in a better condition, Sinclair expresses that “The Jungle” is a symbol of capitalism. Sinclair’s contempt for capitalist society is ...view middle of the document...

If you are good, you can stay and be a king. If you are not good, someone else will take over and control you.

Per capitalism’s perspective, what makes “The Jungle” become its strong symbol. The book background is in the early of 1900 in Chicago, the time when industrialization had come to the United States, immigrant population was increased significantly. With a fast pace of industrialization development, America became a dreamland for many people. They got rid of their home country, come to America with the hope that capitalism would open more opportunities and brought them better life. However, capitalism turned out life was harder than in their hometown. There, they at least knew everything already; they knew the languages and cultures; they knew all the values and moral things they could use to make life sustainable. Coming to a total strange country, all the immigrants need to restart everything over, they need to work by all their efforts and strength for their survival. Capitalism enslaved them by low wages, dangerous working conditions, the fear of injuries, and the threat of losing jobs. Capitalism also creates pressure on traditional family life, cultural ties and moral values that these immigrants had brought with them. So far, “The Jungle” can be considering the evil of capitalism.

Through the story is around Jurgis Rudjus, a Lithuanian who immigrates to the America with the hope of making a better life to his family, Sinclair makes a strong connection between capitalism and corruption. Corruption presents everywhere throughout the book, like laws are not enforces, workers are forced to work in a dangerous working condition, people lie to each other in order to gain their own benefits. When Jurgis and his wife first come to the States, they are full of hopes and they are willing to work. They are determined to learn hard, work hard so they can gain a better life in the future. However, as Jurgis and his family experience more and more times in Packing town, they found themselves surrounded increasingly with sign of immorality and corruption. At the beginning, the sign of corruption is slight but significant. Jurgis and his wife first come to Chicago, they throw their wedding by happiness and warmness around their family members. Their wedding is not only a significant marriage commitment between two people, their wedding is also a connection between them as new freshly people who have recently come to a new town with the residential neighbors around. Therefore, they invite everyone to the wedding, included people they have never met before. However, people take advantage of the weeding to full their stomach with food and alcohol but never contribute anything after. The barkeeper also rips hem off by giving them poorer quality of alcohol and overestimating the amount of alcohol consumed by the guest. Through this event, corruption is presented by demonstrating that people who live together show no empathy to each other....

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