The most famous, influential, and enduring of all muckraking novels, The Jungle was an exposé of conditions in the Chicago stockyards. 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 Then he began to—to make love to me. Sinclair uses grotesque descriptions of food and diseased meat to reveal the disregard company owners have for the safety of American citizens. For it was the custom, as they found, whenever meat was so spoiled that it could not be used for anything else, either to can it or else to chop it up into sausage. Both she and the child die. Jurgis attacks the bartender and lands back in jail, where he is reunited with Jack Duane. Ona is pregnant for a second time and, after returning home late one night from work, is revealed to have been raped by her boss, Phil Connor. The Jungle is a 1906 novel by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair. When he recovers, he is unable to find a job and is forced to beg on the streets. 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. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. Working-class immigrants to the United States had limited employment choices outside of factory jobs with often terrible working conditions. Sinclair uses the industrialized brutality towards animals in the meatpacking plant as a symbol of the industrialized brutality towards workers. For example, "There were high squeals and low squeals, grunts, and wails of agony" This quote obviously shows how scared the pigs were as they were hanging from only one of their legs. Jurgis and his family, hoping for opportunity, are instead thrown into a chaotic world that requires them to constantly struggle in order to survive. Jurgis feels renewed hope; he has dedicated himself entirely to Antanas. Jurgis abandons the rest of the family and wanders the countryside for a while, returning to Chicago the next winter to live on his own. They put him in a place where the snow could not beat in, where the cold could not eat through his bones; they brought him food and drink—why, in the name of heaven, if they must punish him, did they not put his family in jail and leave him outside—why could they find no better way to punish him than to leave three weak women and six helpless children to starve and freeze? It was all—it was their plot—Miss Henderson's plot. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Sinclair wanted to expose these conditions to the wider American public, hoping that an appeal to readers’ emotions might spark change. One problem in the meatpacking industry was how poorly they treated the animals about to be killed for their meat. Its presence stirred outcry which led to much needed reforms. Jurgis, defeated, goes on a drinking binge. Jurgis Rudkus and his family are not real people. LitCharts Teacher Editions. As Anthony Arthur explains in Radical Innocent, his biography of Sinclair, The Jungle is based on two months Sinclair spent living and conducting research in Packingtown, the Chicago neighborhood at the heart of the U.S. meatpacking industry in the early 1900s. The Jungle is a novel by Upton Sinclair, published serially in 1905 and as a book in 1906. 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. Despite the heroics of tackling the Beef Trust, Upton Sinclair saw little need in the actual artful. 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. When The Jungle was published, its readers were outraged—but not in the way Sinclair had hoped. “The Jungle” and the Pandemic: The Meat Industry, Coronavirus, and an Economy in Crisis HuffPost senior reporter Zach Carter and journalist Ted Genoways are this week’s guests. Jurgis encounters Phil Connor again and, in a fit of rage, attacks him. Instant downloads of all 1388 LitChart PDFs To do research, Sinclair had gone undercover for seven weeks inside various Chicago meatpacking plants. He describes He finds a job digging freight tunnels, where he soon injures himself. Since 1906, and the publication of Upton Sinclair’s exposé “The Jungle,” the safety of our food has consistently taken priority over the safety of those who work in the food industry. When he finds them, he discovers Ona prematurely in labour. 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. He finds Marija, who has become a prostitute in order to support Elzbieta and her remaining children. This book became an immediate success as it portrayed the corruption within American business and government. Major outbreaks of the coronavirus among workers in meatpacking plants have brought renewed public scrutiny to a hazardous industry. Jurgis, finally recovered, tries to find work, but, after three months of being sedentary, he has lost some of his strength, causing all the factories to deny him work. Marija has become addicted to morphine. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. They all live in a small town named Packingtown in Chicago. The upper class, politicians and factory managers, took charge of the hideous environment the working class labored in. Every answer in this quiz is the name of a novelist. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. 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. He used to speak to me—out on the platform. As winter comes, the conditions at each of their places of work become even more dangerous. 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. His description of diseased, rotten, and contaminated meat shocked the public and led to new federal food safety laws. Struggling with distance learning? By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The Jungle, a powerful and eye-opening novel by Upton Sinclair, shows how the meat-packing industry ran off corruption and “modern” slave work. Jurgis is once again sent to prison. After being scammed into renting a barely livable house, they get to work. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. Updates? The novel ends with a hopeful chant of revolt: “Chicago will be ours.”. "My students can't get enough of your charts and their results have gone through the roof." Out in the saloons the men could tell him all about the meaning of it; they gazed at him with pitying eyes—poor devil, he was blacklisted!...He was condemned and sentenced, without trial and without appeal; he could never work for the packers again—he could not even clean cattle pens or drive a truck in any place where they controlled. However, most readers were more concerned with … Jurgis responds to these terrible working conditions by joining a labour union. 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. Jurgis takes to alcohol. Mike Scully, a corrupt politician, eventually hires Jurgis to cross picket lines as a scab. A. However, Jurgis’s life is shattered once again when he arrives home to find Antanas drowned in a mud puddle outside their house. In the long time between The Jungle and today, meatpacking has changed—first for the better, due to strong unions, then for the worse. 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. The results were published serially until 1906, when Doubleday published The Jungle as a novel. When he is released, he has no money and survives on charity. Teachers and parents! Although Sinclair's authorial intention in The Jungle is to illustrate the plight of the immigrants and the folly of capitalism, his novel is remembered more for illuminating the abuses in the meatpacking industry. The novel portrays the harsh conditions and exploited lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. Before the turn of the 20th century, a major reform movement had … The Jungle, novel by Upton Sinclair, published serially in 1905 and as a single-volume book in 1906. The novel, while containing an abundance of true events, is fictional. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Men prepare bacon at a meat packing plant in Chicago, circa 1955 The Jungle is as an exposé of the horrific working conditions and unsanitary conditions in Chicago's meatpacking industry. Working conditions had improved through the mid-twentieth century, after investigations by muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair and others early in the century exposed unsafe and unsanitary practices. Sinclair's grotesque descriptions of conditions and procedures in the meatpacking plant led to subsequent reforms in food safety regulation. ... back that “The Jungle” was mostly lies and exaggerations. One night Jurgis wanders into a socialist political rally, where he is transformed. He begged me—he said he loved me. He makes a substantial amount of money doing this. He knew your boss—he knew Marija's. He offered me money. 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. Like the animals, workers are "processed" for every last bit of energy and then discarded when they are no longer useful. Because of the public response, the U.S. The Jungle - Exposing the Meatpacking Industry 1. Pure Food and Drug Act was passed in 1906, and conditions in American slaughterhouses were improved. Sinclair based the novel on the American meatpacking industry. In this chapter he describes the first of many illegal and immoral activities. The Jungle explores and illustrates the conditions of the meatpacking industry. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle was first published in the United States in 1906. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). However, when he attempts to change out the hundred for smaller bills at a bar, the bartender swindles him. Invoking Antanas’s needs, Elzbieta finally convinces Jurgis to find another job. She received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and creative writing in 2020 at the University of Iowa. 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. Then he threatened me. Jurgis meets Jack Duane, who is a criminal; the two become friends. 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. 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. The William Davies Company facilities in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, circa 1920. Our, The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment, LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in, Compare and contrast themes from other texts to this theme…, The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of The Horrors of the Meatpacking Industry appears in each chapter of. -Graham S. Below you will find the important quotes in, “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. Jurgis is eager to find a job before he goes to see Elzbieta. Esther Lombardi, M.A., is a journalist who has covered books and literature for over twenty years. " While The Jungle is a novel, it is not entirely a work of fiction. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Rather, their story is an amalgamation of stories Sinclair was exposed to. In 1906, Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle , about conditions in industrial meat packing plants, was published. The title of Sinclair’s novel describes the savage nature of Packingtown. Upon release, the men commit a number of burglaries and muggings as partners. 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. They use everything about the hog except the squeal. A wealthy woman takes interest in the family and provides Jurgis with a job at a steel mill. He wants the reader to not only understand that there were problems in the meat packing industry but to have a complete picture in their mind of the absolutely disgusting conditions so that they couldn't just forget it. With one member trimming beef in a cannery, and another working in a sausage factory, the family had a first-hand knowledge of the great majority of Packingtown swindles. This facility was then the third largest hog-packing plant in North America. It not only benefited the meatpacking industry and the consuming public, but greatly expanded federal government regulation of private enterprise. Ona gives birth to a boy who is named Antanas, and she is forced to return to work just a week later. The culmination of his work was the passage in 1906 of the Meat Inspection Act, enshrined in history, or at least in history books, as a sacred cow (excuse the pun) of the interventionist state. Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle to expose the appalling working conditions in the meat-packing industry. The Jungle was written at a time when the United States was in the throes of industrialization. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. Packingtown is an urban jungle: savage, unforgiving, and unrelenting. The meat packing industry handles the slaughtering, processing, packaging, and distribution of meat from animals such as … He utilized the fictional immigrant family as a vehicle for nonfictional anecdotes. She hated me. "The Jungle" exposed the horrors of the meatpacking industry. He would hound us to death, he said—then he said if I would—if I —we would all of us be sure of work—always. Sinclair's grotesque descriptions of conditions and procedures in the meatpacking plant led to subsequent reforms in food safety regulation. And [Phil Connor]—he wanted me. Sinclair’s “jungle” was unregulated enterprise; his example was the meat-packing industry; his purpose was government regulation. He knew all about us, he knew we would starve. The Jungle is as an exposé of the horrific working conditions and unsanitary conditions in Chicago's meatpacking industry. The Jungle’s excellent qualities have made it my favorite book. 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 was given a $500 advance in 1904 by the socialist magazine Appeal to Reason to begin his project. Active Themes Get the entire The Jungle LitChart as a printable PDF. He gets hold of a hundred-dollar bill after spending a night with a wealthy man named Freddie Jones. “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach,” he said. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Get an answer for 'In Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," how did the meat packing industry treat meat that smelled bad?' “The Jungle” is a work of fiction. 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. 3. Dede dies. Jurgis finds and attacks Connor and then is jailed for a month. That was their law, that was their justice! Eventually he gets a job at a fertilizer plant—the worst possible job, because the chemicals used there kill most workers after a few years. The Jungle was also soon translated into dozens of languages. How many do you know? (including. Then one day he caught hold of me—he would not let go—he—he—. Kathleen Lohnes was an editorial intern at Encyclopaedia Britannica in 2017 and 2018. Working conditions in the new urban industrial zones were wretched, and a progressive reform movement soon grew out of the need to address the health and welfare of the American worker. Their primary concern was food quality rather than the dangerous labour practices and cruel treatment of animals that Sinclair sought to expose. During this time, one of Elzbieta’s children dies of food poisoning. Sinclair's primary purpose in describing the meat industry and its working conditions was to advance socialism in the United States. When Jurgis is released from prison, he finds that his family has been evicted from their house. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? With what had been told them by Jonas, who had worked in the pickle rooms, they could now study the whole of the spoiled-meat industry on the inside, and read a new and grim meaning into that old Packingtown jest—that they use everything of the pig except the squeal. https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Jungle-novel-by-Sinclair, U.S. History, Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium - Muckrakers. Using the public’s reaction to the novel, U.S. Pres. 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