AP Language and Composition
5 November 2009
The Jungle Questions
The wedding between Jurgis and Ona is an epitome of the various problems in Packingtown. The way the saloon keeper took advantage of the couple is representative of the dishonesty and thievery from the surrounding society. The crowd stranded outside the wedding symbolizes the helpless and hungry inhabitants of Packingtown. When the newlyweds allowed these people into the wedding they quickly transformed into an “every man for themselves” perspective. In retrospect, the disregard for others that thrived in the society by not providing a money donation to the bride and groom was prevalent. The wedding demonstrates the struggle of Packingtown’s society as well as the future it forces upon its citizens. 2.
“These bare places were grown up with dingy, yellow weeds, hiding innumerable tomato-cans, innumerable children played upon them, chasing one another here and there, screaming and fighting.” This excerpt describes the area in which the children would play. Sinclair uses words like, “dingy” to emphasize the situation in which the kids grew up in. •
“One wondered about this, as also about the swarms of flies which hung about the scene, literally blackening the air, and the strange, fetid odor which assailed one's nostrils, a ghastly odor, of all the dead things of the universe.” Here Sinclair depicts the horrible situations that people had to deal with when living in Packingtown. When Sinclair talks about the flies blackening the sky, the reader is able to make a mental image of how awful the conditions were. •
“One with a swift stroke cut the throat; another with two swift strokes severed the head, which fell to the floor and vanished through a hole. Another made a slit down the body; a second opened the body wider , a third with a saw cut the breast-bone; a fourth loosened the entrails; a fifth pulled them out — and they also slid through a hole in the floor.” In this passage Sinclair gives the reader a grotesque image of the working areas in Packingtown. The crude images are very descriptive and add a sense of reality to the story. •
“Little by little the scene grew plain: towering, black building here and there, long rows of shops and sheds, little railways branching everywhere, bare gray cinders under foot and oceans of billowing black smoke above.” While describing the steel mill’s surroundings, Sinclair uses a metaphor to emphasize the environment around the building, “…oceans of billowing black smoke above.” •
“…deafening thunder, and whistles shrieked warnings on all sides of him at once; where miniature steam-engines came rushing upon him, and sizzling, quivering, white-hot masses of metal sped past him, and explosions of fire and flaming sparks dazzled him and scorched his face.” When describing the inner parts of the steel mills, Sinclair uses sensory words to grab the reader’s attention. Words like, “deafening”, “shrieked”, “sizzling”, “white-hot masses”, “dazzled” and “scorched,” add to the mental image portrayed when reading this passage. •
“…by the stage, he saw the stage, he saw three giant caldrons, big enough for all the devils of hell to brew their broth in, full of something white and blinding, bubbling and splashing, roaring as if volcanoes were blowing through it—one had to shout to be heard in the place.”In this selection the author uses very descriptive language to increase the impact of the scene. “The devils of hell to brew their broth,” this statement is very intense and strong. It is showing the ways of the steel mill as a hell-like place. •
“…there fell a pillar of white flame, dazzling as the sun, swishing like a huge tree in the forest.” This example shows how the author is able to use similes to validate the image. With his descriptive words the reader is able to picture the situation clearly. •
“ Out of regions of wonder it streamed, the very river of life; and the soul...
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