The Jungle Research Paper
In Thomas Paine’s 1791 book Rights of Man, he paints an idyllic, almost naive sense of peace and cordiality throughout America. However, by the time one century has passed, corruption and social castes have inevitably settled over the country, ultimately disproving almost everything Paine had lauded America for. This is evidenced by Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel, The Jungle, and the Eric Schlosser’s 2003 book, Fast Food Nation.
The 21st century has done nothing to support Paine’s praises of America. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly called OSHA, has kept at its goal, since its inception, to bring to light the hazards and trials found in the meat packing plants, the plants have kept at shutting out OSHA and keeping the public from finding out what goes on inside. Undoubtedly, the plants lie and underreport in the logs they are required to turn in to OSHA on a yearly basis. Illegal immigrants working in the meatpacking industry are not entitled to receive minimum wage. Ultimately, they end up working for next to nothing with their chances of escaping of the high-risk jobs unscathed being just as low. They also do not qualify for medical aid because in order to get help from hospitals, you must prove that you are a citizen, or at least legally living the in the U.S., neither of which an illegal immigrant can do. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the rushing of the meatpackers reached such extremes that by the end of one year, “one out of every two of the 2,500 workers there had serious job-related medical problems. The first point Paine commends America on is that “…the poor are not oppressed, and the rich are not privileged” (Paine 6-7). However, in Fast Food Nation, the poor are so oppressed, they are afraid to ask for worker’s compensation after suffering injuries because they already know that the chances of getting any money from the big businesses are slim to none. In addition, the rich,...
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