Fast Food Nation **and The Jungle
Similar to the many real-life stories told by Schlosser in his written depiction of the fast food industry, The Jungleby Upton Sinclair is a notable relation of the same type of horrors. Unlike Schlosser, though, Sinclair writes his book in a fictional story line, in which he included great models of figurative language and imagery that strategically capture the reader in a world full of sympathy and belief. In this manner, he uses the journey of Jurgis Rudkis to depict the conditions in the meat packing industry in the United States. Jurgis, being the main character, was not used only to reveal the harsh and hidden lives of those working and living in Packingtown, however. Sinclair also used Jurgis to portray his personal belief of capitalism being corrosive. The following quote has been taken from a review found at AssociatedContent.com. “The Jungle shows the effects of economic hardship on an immigrant family in the early 1900's. That is all it is reliably accountable for. This story is a downright attack on capitalism that the author tries to conceal behind a fictional story of a sympathy deriving family of Lithuanian Immigrants” (A Review of The Jungle, 2007). Sinclair’s attacks on the United States’ economic and governmental system immediately point out the radical side of his personality, and from there the doubt that his ideas and story are not radical in and of themselves as well begins to grow. It is with this part of his writing that Sinclair loses his rhetoric flair and ability to produce quality muckraking journalism. In order for me to be able to effectively explain how both Fast Food Nation and The Jungleare poor examples of muckraking journalism, I must first enlighten you with the definition of the actual term “muckraking”. According to Webster's New World College Dictionary 2009, muckraking is searching for and publicizing, as in newspapers, any real or alleged corruption by public officials, business executives, or other important persons (Muckraking Definition, YourDictionary.com). Muckraking journalism is then defined as the literature that displays these corruptions of society, whether effectively or not. The role of journalism in a democratic society is to report the truth, with minimal harm, and no outside interest. It should also be held accountable to its readers. Journalists are not filling this role by reporting half-truths that send people into a panic, like Fast Food Nation and even The Jungle. Starting with Fast Food Nation, I found by researching that many published book reviews had at least one major commonality: the book covers too many different aspects of the fast food industry that it came to a point where there were too many things to comprehend and analyze all at once while reading. That’s not even everything he talked about either! Throw in a plethora of statistics and facts, and you have some highly confused readers! In his work, Schlosser writes, “This is a book about fast food, the values it embodies, and the world it has made.” However, it is much more than that. It is everything that anybody could ever imagine that somehow, in some unbelievably slight way, has to do with fast food. Eric Schlosser tries to associate everything from armed robbery to political bombings to the spread of a particular strain of Escherichia Coli, all with fast food companies. Schlosser discusses how and why the industry developed, current labor practices in fast food establishments, how the taste of food can now be manipulated, federal regulations (and lack thereof), television and school advertising, health issues, and the spread of fast food abroad. “This book is cleverly disguised as being about fast food. It is not about fast food. It is about how evil conservatives are and how capitalism is the cause of all that is bad in America. It is about how armed robbery has drastically increased. Fast food just happens to be...
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