The Jungle

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Bryan Kent
Miss Myers
Honors English III
2 June 2012
Final Essay
The Jungle

Nature and economics move in similar cycles throughout history. Prey grows exponentially unless there is a limiting factor, such as predators or food sources. Companies grow until they do not have resources to grow. Companies as a group compete with each other, as well as with the consumers and producers in order to maximize profits and minimize waste. Waste might be employees who are not producing fast enough or physical items which are discarded instead of being reused or sold in another way. Pure capitalism as a whole is destructive to the proletariat. In nature, there is a cycle between prey and predators. When prey is larger in population, the predator population rises; when the predator population is higher the population of prey diminishes. Prey will thrive only when it is small in numbers with a decreasing number of predators. In The Jungle there were two economic classes: the small privileged class and the large, impoverished, working class. These closely correspond to the cycle of prey and predators. When the privileged class becomes stronger they gain political, social, and economic power. Often this new found power is derived from the working class. Each person loses a part of their political, social, and economic power. Their political power is lost when politicians cheat and stuff ballot boxes. Their social power is lost when they are blacklisted from finding work in the nearby areas. Their economic power is lost when their wages are cut as the companies maximize their bottom line. In The Jungle, Jurgis and his family are all victims of these power deprivations. Jurgis’ pay is cut countless times. He is blacklisted from getting a job in Packingtown. Finally, he was involved in several swindles of political corruption aimed at deceiving ignorant immigrants to vote for candidates that would ultimately make their lives more difficult. Waste...
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