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Hayden Kern 9 th Literature and Composition 10 October 2014 The Jungle – The Issues of Capitalist America The Jungle shows the issues of the working class, and how unregulated capitalism causes a struggle for survival and a never-ending war against poverty. The story revolves around a family who has emigrated to the United States of America from Lithuania. The story details the poor labor conditions of those in the working class. The story also details the struggle to not succumb
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  Hayden Kern 9 th  Literature and Composition 10 October 2014 The Jungle  –   The Issues of Capitalist America The Jungle shows the issues of the working class, and how unregulated capitalism causes a struggle for survival and a never-ending war against poverty. The story revolves around a family who has emigrated to the United States of America from Lithuania. The story details the  poor labor conditions of those in the working class. The story also details the struggle to not succumb to poverty. In my opinion, Sinclair really wrote the story for the promotion of socialism. The characters in the jungle range from the poorest to the wealthiest economically, and from the untouchables to the elite socially. Jurgis’s family works low income jobs in very poor conditions. Each member of the family has a job, except for the children, who are sent to school. Jurgis and his family are satisfied with their lives in America, at first. They soon came to terms that America was plagued  by corruption. The wealthy rules the economy, the country and everybody in it. America was filled with bribery and dishonesty. Working in Packing’s town has taken a toll on Jurgis and his family. In Packingtown, no parts of the animal are wasted. It makes me wonder how the people didn’t die from eating the food!   The novel, “The Jungle” cast a negative spotlight on the unregulated capitalist economy of America. Sinclair portrays the working class as slaves to the wealthy and privileged. Throughout in the entire book, the concept of a free market, capitalist economy is attacked; while the benefits of socialism are promoted. For my point of view, the story is a bias, one side argument, which does not emphasize the pros and cons of both systems. Sinclair depicts the poor conditions of the Packingtown workers, promoting socialism and attacking capitalism.  Throughout the entire story of the Jungle, the main characters struggled to survive doing the most unthinkable jobs and performing the most unwanted tasks. In the novel, one of the characters resorts to prostitution out of fear that her job might be at stake. Towards the middle of the story, the children drop out of school to help pay rent on the family home. The children worked as paper salesmen, which occasionally came home with a few cents. Jurgis gets into a scuffle with a man named Connor, who his wife has been having an affair with. Jurgis beats Connor down and is arrested by the police. He is sentenced to thirty days in prison. When Jurgis is let out of jail, he finds that his family has moved to an even poorer neighborhood because of the fact that Jurgis was no longer generating revenue because of his imprisonment. Ona is also in labor when Jurgis returns from prison. Sadly, neither Ona nor the  baby survives after going into labor two months early. When Atanas’s family dies in a street flood, Jurgis decides to leave his family by boarding a train to Chicago. To overcome his poor economic conditions, Jurgis decides to take the life of crime, a risky, yet profitable tactic. Jurgis learns about the social connections between judges, police,  politicians and wealthy men. Jurgis encounters Conner again. Jurgis once again beats up Connor. Due to Connor  ’s political connections, he loses all he has and is forces to take back to the streets. Jurgis attends a socialist meeting to get off the streets and keep warm. When the meeting is over, Jurgis agrees with the ideology of the socialist party. It’s accura te to say that Jurgis is a representation of Sinclair. Suffered in poverty his entire life, Jurgis thinks that a political reform, such as socialist party would benefit him and the working class. The concept of socialialism has an idea of equality for all, and total control for thou in charge. The Jungle is an advertisement for socialism and the advantages along with it, in my opinion. After reading this story, I am amazed our country is what it is today. After all the  hunger, famine and poverty and immigrant suffered. I am also surprised we did not get sick or die from food that was made is such poor conditions and contained bad ingredients. This novel did not sway me to the socialist party. I consider this novel to be more of a lifestyle choice, or an impossible decision that will never become a reality in the United States, still dominated by a thriving free market economy.

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Jul 22, 2017

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