The Jungle essay - Taylor Nelson Miller Animal and Food...

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Taylor Nelson Miller Animal and Food Science 3404 April 2, 2010 The Jungle Upton Sinclair was what is known as a Muckraker. Muckraker is a term used to describe one who inquires into and publishes scandal and allegations of corruption among political and business leaders . The Jungle is one of the most popular and controversial books ever to be published. Sinclair had several incentives for writing such a notorious book; however, the most profound effects of this book can be seen through the social implications, trade, and food safety of the time period. The Jungle follows the lives of Jurgis Rudkis and his Lithuanian family when they come to Chicago’s beef district in the late 1800s. The book wraps the reader up in their struggles to survive in streets in a city that was rumored to be a thriving society full of good jobs and new opportunities but sadly just the opposite was true. It follows them as they go further into corrupt American, as they purchase a house from a deceitful lawyer; get and lose jobs, health, and hope, and transform into a mere spot on the huge machine that is the beef industry. When the family has no hope the reader feels has none either. When Jurgis cries because his young wife dies, the readers do too, and when the family decides to carry on despite it all, one can’t help but continue the journey along side them. The Jungle makes the reader think and that is the first step to becoming a more knowledgeable and well-versed person. It prompted modern sanitation laws in the beef industry and gives a look into the lives of immigrants. It’s a novel that had a real impact on the world unlike any other.
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The social implication of Upton Sinclair’s novel is one for the record books. His novel has had a serious impact on every Americans everyday life and most don’t even know it. Most novels are read and never really have an effect on society; however, The Jungle greatly altered America in a way no other book has done before. According to Valiunas “Sinclair popularized the social-scientific ideas developed by Thorstein Veblen in The Theory of the Leisure Class, and Americanized Benjamin Disraeli's notion of "Two Englands," a phrase coined by the 19th- century English novelist and political genius to describe the division between rich and poor. In the manner of Disraeli, Sinclair wrote unceasingly of two Americas, a disgrace to the national ideals of freedom and equality” (Valiunas). Sinclair was a socialist and wanted to the everyday citizen to see the corruption in American government. Though Sinclair’s ultimate goal was never reached – changing America to a socialist society— his novel did have numerous amounts of effect on society in that day and age.
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