The Jungle Essay

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The Jungle
Throughout Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle, the inhumane and disgusting treatment the working men and women was shown to the eyes of the American people. Although what the book is most recognized for is creating the Pure Food and Drug Act, an act that gave consumers protection from dangerous and impure foods, the many various horrors the lower working class had to go through was something that deserved more recognition. Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle, gives an insight on how it was nearly impossible for someone of lower class to work and survive in the various big cities in America. The Jungle is about a family from Lithuania who travels to America in hope of a better life. When they first arrive things immediately begin to go downhill. The fist place they stop is a hotel, they stay for a night, but unfortunately are unable to read English and sleep there without knowing there will be a very large fine for their stay. “The law says that a rate card shall be on the door of a hotel, but it does not say that it shall be in Lithuanian.”(23) The next morning they’re devastated and quickly pay and leave, learning that the people in this country will do anything for a quick buck. Soon they reach their destination, Chicago, and Jurgis and his family began to search for a home, and jobs. They buy a house, but soon find out there is a lot more to the house than what meets the eye, such as interest and the fact that the house is only rented until they can pay it off. After moving in Jurgis begins a job at the meat factory, and it was anything but pleasant. Jurgis’ job is to sweep the entrails and calves from cows into a trapdoor in the floor. Many people are at risk of injury every day, working with sharp knives and there was always almost a foot of blood on the floor. It is disgusting and horrible work, but Jurgis does it with a smile on his face because he thinks “at least I have a job,” but as the story goes on, Jurgis’ opinion begins to...