Essay on An Analysis of the Jungle by Upton Sinclair

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In the early 1900's life for America's new Chicago immigrant workers in the meat packing industry was explored by Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle. Originally published in 1904 as a serial piece in the socialist newspaper Appeal to Reason, Sinclair's novel was initially found too graphic and shocking by publishing firms and therefore was not published in its complete form until 1906. In this paper, I will focus on the challenges faced by a newly immigrated worker and on what I feel Sinclair's purpose was for this novel. In the early 1900's a newly arrived immigrant worker faced numerous challenges that had to be overcome. Often times literally arriving with the clothes on their back and a few meager dollars, it was crucial for these…show more content…
While not all of these examples have a direct monetary impact, each of the dealings associated with them does which in turn motivates the parties involved to make decisions and perform actions outside the normal scope for their character. The third challenge faced by new immigrants was acquiring and then keeping steady work. Although the Packingtown in Chicago was in a constant state of activity, the sheer number of available workers and the rule of supply and demand made it difficult for some to find work. It was not uncommon for some workers to stand at the plant doors for weeks before being selected. And once a person was chosen to be a worker, they had to labor at a fever pitch to make sure they were retained. That being said, the worker's problems did not end once they found steady employment. Employers were harsh and unforgiving in how they treated their employees. For example, if an employee was one minute late they were penalized an hours pay. If they were 20 minutes late they forfeited their employment. Worse yet, if they were injured or hurt on the job the company takes no responsibility and the worker is forced to recuperate on their own time without pay (i.e.; when Jurgis sprained his ankle and had to recuperate at home for 3 months). The final insult to the workers was that even if they were always on time, worked hard and maintained their health they could lose their job due to the
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