RdgGde-TheJungle - TheJungle,byUptonSinclair,1906...

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The Jungle , by Upton Sinclair, 1906. Reading Guide  Overview:   Upton Sinclair’s best-selling novel,  The Jungle , published in 1906 is a stellar example of Progressive Era protest or  reform literature by authors that President Theodore Roosevelt derisively dubbed as “muckrakers.”  The term is taken from John  Bunyan’s Puritan novel  Pilgrim’s Progress  that identified a man with a “Muck-rake in his hand”—someone who looked down to  rake up filth rather than look around at better things. Sinclair wrote  The Jungle  as an indictment of capitalism by depicting the  hardships and the exploitation of a fictional Lithuanian immigrant, Jurgis Rudkus, and his family and friends.   Sinclair hoped to write a novel that would arouse the public about the plight of the working-class in much the same way  that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel  Uncle Tom’s Cabin  aroused public sympathy in the antebellum North about slavery.  In the  United States, most who read Sinclair’s novel were more repelled by the unsanitary conditions of the meat-packing industry, and  its products, than the long hours, low pay, and miserable working conditions of the workers.  Within six months after the  publication of  The Jungle , pure food and drug legislation and a meat inspection act were passed by Congress. 1    As Sinclair later  said about the impact of his novel, “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”   The Story 1. Who are the major  characters of  The Jungle?   Why does Jurgis Rudkus and his family come to the United States?  Why do they go to Packingtown?  What are their expectations?  What is Packingtown?  
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2010 for the course HIS 315L taught by Professor Victoriaallison during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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RdgGde-TheJungle - TheJungle,byUptonSinclair,1906...

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