Its presence stirred outcry which led to much needed reforms. Packingtown is an urban jungle: savage, unforgiving, and unrelenting. The Jungle’s excellent qualities have made it my favorite book. Jurgis and his family, hoping for opportunity, are instead thrown into a chaotic world that requires them to constantly struggle in order to survive. He finds Marija, who has become a prostitute in order to support Elzbieta and her remaining children. It not only benefited the meatpacking industry and the consuming public, but greatly expanded federal government regulation of private enterprise. Theodore Roosevelt pushed Congress to pass both the Pure Food and Drug Act, which ensured that meatpacking plants processed their products in a sanitary manner, and the Meat Inspection Act, which required that the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspect all livestock before slaughter. She hated me. Jurgis responds to these terrible working conditions by joining a labour union. Sinclair's grotesque descriptions of conditions and procedures in the meatpacking plant led to subsequent reforms in food safety regulation. He gets hold of a hundred-dollar bill after spending a night with a wealthy man named Freddie Jones. Ona gives birth to a boy who is named Antanas, and she is forced to return to work just a week later. To do research, Sinclair had gone undercover for seven weeks inside various Chicago meatpacking plants. Then he began to—to make love to me. From the killing beds to the fertilizer plant, the meatpacking plant is portrayed as a Hell on Earth, a place of blistering cold and burning heat, a place where a man might fall unnoticed into a boiling vat and be turned into canned food. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The title of Sinclair’s novel describes the savage nature of Packingtown. That was their law, that was their justice! The results were published serially until 1906, when Doubleday published The Jungle as a novel. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. (including. The Jungle explores and illustrates the conditions of the meatpacking industry. She received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and creative writing in 2020 at the University of Iowa. The novel portrays the harsh conditions and exploited lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. After suffering a sprained ankle from a work-related accident, Jurgis is bedridden for three months without pay; this lack of income puts a massive strain on his family. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. He finds a job digging freight tunnels, where he soon injures himself. The main plot of The Jungle follows Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkus, who came to the United States in the hope of living the American dream, and his extended family, which includes Ona, Jurgis’s wife; Elzbieta, Ona’s stepmother; Elzbieta’s six children; Marija, Ona’s cousin; and Dede Rudkus, Jurgis’s father. The Jungle, novel by Upton Sinclair, published serially in 1905 and as a single-volume book in 1906. LitCharts Teacher Editions. The novel, while containing an abundance of true events, is fictional. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). When Jurgis is released from prison, he finds that his family has been evicted from their house. Esther Lombardi, M.A., is a journalist who has covered books and literature for over twenty years. " An exposé of the American meatpacking industry and the horrors endured by immigrant workers generated public outrage resulting in passage of federal legislation that improved food quality and working conditions. Jurgis is once again sent to prison. Like the animals, workers are "processed" for every last bit of energy and then discarded when they are no longer useful. https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Jungle-novel-by-Sinclair, U.S. History, Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium - Muckrakers. The Jungle ," a 1906 novel by Upton Sinclair, is full of graphic descriptions of the poor conditions workers and cattle endured in the Chicago meat-packing industry. A. Omissions? He knew all about us, he knew we would starve. Using the public’s reaction to the novel, U.S. Pres. The 1905 story about the Chicago meatpacking industry that inspired Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle also shows the power of photojournalism, a study argues. He describes “The Jungle” is a work of fiction. The meat packing industry handles the slaughtering, processing, packaging, and distribution of meat from animals such as … This book became an immediate success as it portrayed the corruption within American business and government. He also portrays the grotesque physical harm done to workers, who lose fingers, cut themselves and get blood poisoning, have their skin eroded by acid, and lose limbs under highly dangerous working conditions. Throughout the story… "The Jungle" exposed the horrors of the meatpacking industry. The Jungle, on the other hand, is a brutal exposé of the widespread abuse of immigrant and poor workers in Chicago's meatpacking district at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1906, Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle" uncovered harrowing conditions inside America's meat packing plants and initiated a period of transformation in the nation's meat industry. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. However, Jurgis’s life is shattered once again when he arrives home to find Antanas drowned in a mud puddle outside their house. More than a century after Upton Sinclair’s novel about exploitation in America’s meat industry, the coronavirus has revealed how little meatpacking has changed Before the turn of the 20th century, a major reform movement had … Major outbreaks of the coronavirus among workers in meatpacking plants have brought renewed public scrutiny to a hazardous industry. This study will analyze Upton Sinclair's expose of the horrors of the meatpacking industry in Chicago in the first years of the twentieth century. His membership reveals to him the corruption deeply embedded in the factory system, which prompts him to take English classes in the hopes of promotion. Their primary concern was food quality rather than the dangerous labour practices and cruel treatment of animals that Sinclair sought to expose. In fact, on the same day he signed the Meat Inspection Act, June 30, 1906, Roosevelt also signed the Pure Food and Drug Act, which established the FDA and set the foundation for all food safety regulations today. He knew your boss—he knew Marija's. It was a fictionalized account of what it was like in the meat packing industry, and how horrible working conditions were in meat packing plants. The Jungle is a 1906 novel by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair. Because of the public response, the U.S. Both she and the child die. He offered me money. He begged me—he said he loved me. CONDITIONS IN MEATPACKING PLANTS (1906, by Upton Sinclair)The explosive growth of American industry in the late nineteenth century caused a similar expansion in the work force. This gross description of pickling procedures reveals the grotesque and unsanitary conditions in Chicago's meatpacking industry—and this is only the beginning of those revelations. 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