Jungle Paper, Social Justice

4076 Words Nov 25th, 2012 17 Pages
Running Head: IMPRESSIONS OF THE JUNGLE FROM A SOCIAL JUSTICE PERSPECTIVE

Impressions of the Jungle From a Social Justice Perspective
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Sherree Boyce
Lehman College

Author Note
This paper was prepared for Social Welfare Institutions and Program, SWK, 639, Section 81, taught by Professor Yvonne Johnson

The novel, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair depicts the lives of poor immigrants in the United States during the early 1900’s. Sinclair is extremely effective in this novel at identifying and expressing the perils and social concerns of immigrants during this era. The turmoil that immigrants faced was contingent on societal values during the era. There was a Social Darwinist sentiment
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The next level would include safety needs, personal and financial security health and well being. As you move up the pyramid the needs increase to love and belonging, self –esteem and the highest level would include self-actualization, reaching one’s full potential. The theory is that you can not reach the highest level without first obtaining the basics. (Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs, 10/20/10)
The Jungle both supports and refutes this theory. It supports it, considering that Jurgis’ family could not progress because their main focus was survival, food, clothing shelter. However, Jurgis reaches the highest level of self actualization during a period where his basic needs are not meet, when he decides to join the political party of Socialism. It is not until he joins this party that Jurgis understands his purpose.
Jurgis and his family would have greatly benefited from many of the social services, policies /programs available today including child abuse and child labor laws, social insurance programs, worker’s compensation, free and subsidized medical insurance, social security insurance and institutions /programs such as shelters, Human Resource Administration and soup kitchens.
Child Abuse, Neglect, Maltreatment Laws:
A great majority of the poor immigrant was neglected in the town of Packingtown, Chicago. The children were allowed to rummage through

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