The Communist Manifesto and the Jungle

Topics: Working class, Marxism, Karl Marx Pages: 3 (1013 words) Published: May 4, 2005
In The Jungle, Upton Sinclair uses a true to life story to demonstrate the working man's life during industrialization. Marx depicts in the Communist Manifesto an explanation of why the proletariat is worked so hard for the benefit of the bourgeois, and how they will inevitably rise up from it and move to a life of communism. When The Jungle and the Communist Manifesto were written, the proletariat, or working class, was a commodity of commerce. Like their brothers, they subjected to competition and all of the quick and sudden changes of the market. Before the industrialization movement began, there was more of a blend between the classes, and now there is a distinct separation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Because of the industrialization of the countries, the replacement of manual labor with the use of machinery and the division of labor, the work of the proletarian has become homogeneous. It does not contain the individuality or charm of the laborer as handmade goods do. The worker instead becomes part of the machine and is reduced to performing menial, repetitive tasks. Thus, the workman's pay rate reflects his work, and is reduced to minimum amount needed to barely sustain them. Therefore, as the skill needed to perform the job reduced, so does the amount of the wages. Also, as industrialization increases, so does drudge and toil. The worker become, in the eyes of the bourgeois in control, a part of the machine and as expendable and as easily replaced as any part of the machine. This is in the forms of prolonged work hours, amount of work done in a certain time, or by the increase of the speed of the machinery, which wears down and drains the workers. Modern industry has replaced the privately owned workshop with the corporate factory. Laborers file into factories like soldiers. Throughout the day they are under the strict supervision of a hierarchy of seemingly militant command. Not only are their actions controlled by the government, they...
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