Promoting Socialism Through Animalistic Connotations in “The Jungle”

981 WordsJul 12, 20184 Pages
In Upton Sinclair’s novel “The Jungle” the use of animalistic terms and connotations in the depictions of both the people and the politics created persuasive arguments for socialism and against capitalism. Christopher Phelps’ Introduction states, “As a metaphor, ‘jungle’ denoted the ferocity of dog-eat-dog competition, the barbarity of exploitative work, the wilderness of urban life, the savagery of poverty, the crudity of political corruption, and the primitiveness of the doctrine of survival of the fittest, which led people to the slaughter as surely as cattle.”(1), this is the foundation to Sinclair’s arguments that capitalism promotes competition between the working-class for mere survival all the while destroying human rights…show more content…
Though not specifically promoting socialism with animalistic terms, through condemning capitalism the author shows socialism as the far superior choice and one that would be most beneficial to the reader. Furthermore, the quotation begins with capitalism linking directly to the Beef Trust and the protagonist, Jurgis, coming to the realization through educating himself with the socialist literature. This is especially significant since at the beginning of the novel, the newcomers were portrayed as unsophisticated in the eyes of capitalism. Now the reader has been exposed to the idea that these people were not insolent but merely oppressed by a capitalistic environment. Zaprawa 4 One of the strongest arguments against capitalism is the quote “It was a monster devouring with a thousand mouths, trampling with a thousand hoofs; it was the Great Butcher – it was the spirit of Capitalism made flesh.”(334), the description of monster depicts capitalism as barbaric instead of those under the influence of capitalism being barbaric. This quote lends itself to the idea that people must fight for what they

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