The Jungle

Topics: Socialist Party USA, Meat packing industry, Meat processing Pages: 4 (1403 words) Published: February 28, 2013
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair gives an in depth look at the lives of immigrant workers here in America and the quality of the meat consumed by Americans.  Quality so poor that the Pure Food and Drug Act was created as a result.  The audience tend to focus purely on the unsanitary conditions instead of the real problem. The true problem is the hardships faced by the workers and their families who depend on meat industry to keep them alive.  It almost seems as if Sinclair doesn’t want the focus on the meatpacking, but on overcoming hardship, especially through Socialism.  Sinclair as a person was extremely outspoken when referring to the subject of Socialism. Sinclair really wrote The Jungle for the promotion of his political position, as he himself was a socialist. What really caught the attention of the public were the few pages of horrendous descriptions about the quality of the meat-packing industry. People were forced to work from before sunrise to after sunset. In the meat preserving plants, the floors were never dry. The workers would catch horrible foot diseases, causing them to suffer loss of toes and even entire legs. The butchers would be forced to move at a blinding pace, often cutting

themselves and others. They would still have to work though, or lose their job. Often, the wounds would become infected, and butchers would die of blood poisoning. These are all examples of how the conditions were just flat-out horrible, and really got to the readers with the vivid descriptions. Another thing that shocked me while reading the novel was the cruelty to animals. The animals were packed in freight cars, and shipped across the country. Many of them died on the trip. Once reaching Packing town, each hog had a chain fastened around its leg, was hoisted into the air, and carried into a room where its throat was slit. When the cattle reached Packing town, they were stunned by electric shock, and dropped onto a conveyor belt, where a man with a Sledge...
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