Upton Sinclair 's The Jungle

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Written at the turn of the 20th century, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle took place in an era of unprecedented advancement in civilization where the American economy had risen to become one of the wealthiest on the planet. However, Sinclair asserts that the rise of capitalist America resulted in the virulent corruption and competition that plighted society into an untamed “jungle.” Shown by the corruption of the Chicago meatpacking industry, Sinclair highlights the repulsive filth of human greed that was created as a byproduct of the economic boom. The effects of industrialism and the rise of untamed capitalism is what raped the superfluity of workers, like Jurgis Rudkus, of the opportunity to uncover prosperity in America. Not only does The Jungle capture the brutality and acceleration of corrupt capitalism and ruthless Darwinism during the Progressive Era, it also prompts resistance and displacement of the existing political system in favor of a socialist revolution. Through the novel, Sinclair demonstrates how the deterioration of the American Dream was exacerbated by the capitalist greed and corruption that eventually drove Jurgis and his family into mental degeneration and despair. The Jungle demonstrates the exploitation of workers under the capitalist system where the majority of the wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few while workers like Jurgis are forced to become wage slaves in order to survive. Not only does the owners see workers as “wild beasts” and trap

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