Upton Sinclair 's The Jungle

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Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle is an unashamed example of the journalistic style known as muckraking. Sinclair researched the conditions being fought against during the Progressive Era and painted a picture in literary form for the ignorant readers. The consumerism that taped into the greed of industrialists is drawn out many times. This greed, in turn, drove down the American Standard of living in almost every aspect. With every corner of hope demolished, a path was laid out for all to follow, the Progressive solution to the world: Socialism. The gilded age had produced many industrialists eager to line their pockets. Mass consumerism had given it a hunger from every level of society. (p66) The Factory System made efficient by Fordism was able to chew up not only livestock but people as well. Master artisans’ skill were ignored and their knowledge slaughtered with the animals pushed through the stockyards. The mindless task of simple repeated movements was the reward for groveling to perform at the lowest wage possible. Demands for higher wages were met with termination of employment. (p247) Sinclair illustrated these facets of Progressive life with his character Jurgis. At the beginning of Jurgis’ journey, Jurgis was in excellent health and very strong. Jurgis’ eagerness to work, strength, and lack of English comprehension were the only characteristics in which the shop foreman was interested. The workman’s queue outside of the factory entrance frequently turned into a

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