A Comparison of the Legacy of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

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1906 would see the publication of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, pushing through major reforms of the meatpacking industry and eventually causing the government to take actions to protect the health of its people; almost fifty years later, the publication of Rachel Carson's novel Silent Spring would invoke a similar, but changed response to the threat of DDT. Although both would lead to government legislation creating major changes, the original intentions of the authors themselves differed, as well as their satisfaction of the results. However, both still leave a legacy for today, as legislation still stands that reflects the widespread reform that ensued. Both Silent Spring and The Jungle, would have wide reaching influences, …show more content…
Unlike Carson, who would find her naturalist roots to be her driving force, Sinclair's reasons for publishing his groundbreaking work would stem from his ties to the Socialist Party, rather than the actual material itself being covered. Sinclair would even go as to say that he had come to "write the Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Labor movement"(Arthur, 124) Carson and Sinclair would differ greatly on the subject of cause and motivation for their novels, regardless of the similar sized conflict and controversy. Both Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson would initially find their books to be extremely difficult to be published. An early version of the Jungle titled An Appeal to Reason would be rejected five times before becoming a bestseller(Young, 467). Carson would face similar trials with her publisher, Houghton Mifflin, which was tempted to suppress the novel after complaints in the news and by major corporations(McLauglin, 2). Both novels in this aspect would face similar treatment after being discouraged from publishing by publishing companies and the public, citing the controversial material as the reason. Even though the material was very different, both Sinclair and Carson would draw similar criticisms for their novels before publication. But as the novels would still be successfully published, the different public opinion of the two novels would be in completely different aspects of the
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