Upton Sinclair The Jungle Essay

In 1904, Upton Sinclair received a five hundred dollar advance from the socialist newspaper Appeal to Reason to investigate the living and working conditions for immigrant industrial workers in Chicago. Chapter XIIJurgis tries to return to work too soon and is reinjured. Jurgis finally gets a job at the fertilizer plant, the worse job in Packingtown.1. Why is this job considered the lowest labor in Packingtown? The Jungle, originally serialized by the newspaper, was published in book form in 1906. When he finally recovers, he discovers that his job has been given to someone else. What crisis arises with the death of little Kristoforas?

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While the plot focuses on the trials of immigrant industrial workers, the novel gives us an understanding of the role of labor in early industrial society and the government’s support of big business.

Sinclair paints an interesting picture of the progress of organized labor and the political power of business in American society. How have Jurgis, Ona, and Elzbieta changed since coming to Chicago?

His 1942 novel, Dragon’s Teeth, won the Pulitzer Prize. Chapter VIIn Chapter Six the family discovers that they must pay interest on their purchase, which almost doubles the monthly payment. However, loss of work and the financial needs of the family force her to postpone her plans.1.

Sinclair spent the last years of his life in a nursing home in New Jersey, where he died in 1968. This need requires that more members of the family go to work.1. Why do the owners keep bringing in new immigrant workers? How does the family raise the money for the monthly interest? What incident at work makes Stanislovas fear the cold and snow?

Surrounded by cruel and unscrupulous businessmen and politicians, the family cannot meet monthly expenses. Ona gives birth to a son, but remains in poor health after the birth.1.

Chapter after chapter depicts the extremes to which they must go to earn enough money to survive, and the steady loss of their humanity. What unforeseen expenses were associated with the house?

Because of the obvious legislative results of The Jungle, it could be incorporated into a study of books that changed the country.

Comprehension Chapter IThe book begins with a description of the wedding feast of Jurgis and Ona.

Chapter XVIn Chapter Fifteen, the second major blow hits the family.

What effect has the family’s declining fortunes had on little Antanas? What effect does her second pregnancy seem to have on Ona?


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