The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

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Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle with an unabashed message in mind. Using his powerful descriptions of the repugnance of the meat packing industry as his vehicle, Sinclair conveyed his position of socialism and lamented the plight of the working-man.

The Jungle's main character, Jurgis Rudkus, immigrates with his family to America from Lithuania with hopes of living the "American Dream". Instead, their dream is torn apart by the dreadful cruelties of the working class life in Packingtown, Chicago. Jobs are scarce and those available are more deadly than life on the streets but Jurgis is ready and eager for any kind of work. Working conditions are almost unbearable and home life is not much better. When both Jurgis' wife and children die, he can take no more suffering. Jurgis abandons the family to become a beggar in the country. He later returns to Chicago where he rejoins his remaining family members and begins a new life, persuaded by a socialist group to start over and begin making a difference through socialism.

Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle with an exceptionally effective writing style in that he uses prominent characters to represent certain elements in society. For example, Jurgis represents the bourgeoisie, working class and through his struggles, the reader is able to experience what every person of that level of society might have gone through. Although this writing style is effective, it can create conflicts. One of these conflicts is that the reader may begin to lose interest because of lack of reality. Sinclair uses every last trial and tribulation he can to express the pain and suffering these people went through, but soon, it becomes too much, and the reader stops caring about the lives of the characters. This may have been intentional on Sinclair's part, by intentionally desensitizing...