"Its a Jungle Out There"

Essay by TAYlORlEiGHXOHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 2006

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Title: The Jungle

Author: Upton Sinclair


Hardcover: $7.95

Paperback: $6.95

Overall Satisfaction: 4 STARS

"They put him in a place where the snow could not beat in, where the cold could not eat through his bones; they brought him food and drink--why, in the name of heaven, if they must punish him, did they not put his family in jail and leave him outside--why could they find no better way to punish him than to leave three weak women and six helpless children to starve and freeze?" The Jungle by Upton Sinclair demonstrates the constant struggle, and persistent troubles that one family experienced, and conquered.

Sinclair's documentary novel centers on Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant working in Chicago's notorious Packingtown. Instead of finding the American Dream, Rudkus and his family live in a brutal, soul-crushing jungle ruled by greedy bosses, ruthless con-men, and corrupted politicians.

Sinclair's main target was the industry's horrifying labor situation, I was most offended at the revelation of the disgusting filth and garbage in American food production, like previous readers.

As a result Sinclair announced: "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." As a result, President Theodore Roosevelt demanded an official investigation, which eventually led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug laws.

Jurgis is one of the main characters. He is an immigrant that spends almost his whole life searching for the chance to be successful, and support his loved ones. Overcoming addictions, disease, death of loved ones, and all other unthinkable devastations. Jurgis solely represents pity, which is what Sinclair tries to capture from the reader. In my case it was very unsuccessful, I felt nothing for Jurgis. I think he brought much of his situations upon himself.

Another major character is...