The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

An e-book from Prismatext
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Historical Fiction

Social Critique

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Though Upton Sinclair worked as both a novelist and a journalist (his contemporaries accused him of muckraking), The Jungle is a bit of both, and is arguably his most famous work.

Following the fictional story of Lithuanian immigrants, The Jungle delves into the real world of the Chicago meatpacking industry, and describes—in obscene detail—its unsanitary and inhumane working conditions. It offers to the reader a stark contrast between the corrupt capitalists and the weary workers who make possible the massive fortunes of their employers. Additionally, it all but highlights the link between a corrupt government that operates at the behest of the rich and powerful.

Sinclair's socialist motivations in writing The Jungle were no secret, but the real impact of his work was realized in the social upheaval against the mistreatment of laborers. Reform and regulation swept the country, and inspired other global entities to examine their own practices. The Jungle shocked and inspired the world, and paved the way for a thousand manifestos for working class citizens.