Social Malignancies In The Jungle, By Upton Sinclair

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In Upton Sinclair’s novel, ‘The Jungle’, he introduces the idea of the exploitation and impoverishment of the lower class contributes to social malignancies. In societies, there is an increased risk of health problems, crime, unemployment, and political corruption by keeping the lower class below the poverty line and exploiting them at every corner, Upton Sinclair tackles this theme throughout his novel and brings these malignancies to light.

Upton Sinclair first exemplifies this with health problems. Throughout ‘The Jungle’ different characters struggle with different ailments. Jurgis suffers through many physical injuries with limbs, Ona suffers from complications with labor along with ‘womb trouble’, Dede Antanas contracts what the reader presumes is Tuberculosis, and Baby Antanas comes down with measles, mumps, scarlet fever, and whooping cough. The many ailments the family is exposed to wear their bodies down over time as Dede Antanas died from his illness. The family is already barely making ends meet and cannot afford medical attention to tend to the multitude of maladies running rampant in the household. Had the family not have been exploited when purchasing their home, they might have been able to spare a few dollars to seek out the medical attention needed to save some of their family members. But, alas, as the interest on their house is astronomically high, the ever-present need for food and the various emergencies around the house all cost money, their

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