The Jungle

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3/26/01
U.S. History

The Jungle
By Upton Sinclair
Essay by Ben Jones

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Jurgis begins his life in the United States of America in Packingtown, Illinois. He begins working at a meat packing plant. This factory process meat from pigs and cattle. The animals are kept in a pen outside the factory. This area is very unclean. Because of this disease runs rampant through this area. As the animals go to the slaughter house they go through an inspection. Although it is meant to filter out the sick animals, not every animal is checked for disease or infection. Those who are checked are not checked very well. Many of these animals are sick. When thy are brought into the slaughterhouse they spread the sickness to the other animals.
In the slaughterhouse the conditions got worse. As the animals are fed to the slaughter machine the blood runs to the center of the floor. To deal with this a worker would sweep up the extras and the blood. Jurgis had hisfirst job doing this. He got this job because the person before him got his arm caught in the slaughter machine. This is another problem in the factory. Things like body parts, rats, dirt, and other things would be caught in the machine and mixed in with the meat. This part of the factory was never really clean. There was always the threat of sickness from the animals and the remains that Jurgis swept up. The smell was also a problem. The stench was so bad that it was enough to make you sick. Poor ventilation kept this smell up. Poor lighting led to poor eyesight and more accidents and problems.
Because of the booming economy many new factories sprang up. This led to a drop in the price of manufactured goods. Increased availability of new farm equipment led to the buying of more farm equipment. Better tools, machines, seeds, and techniques led to the production of more food. This in turn drove up the amount of meat sent to the packing plant. As the price of the processed product, meat, went …

The Jungle

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The novel , The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair is a story of the pursuit of happiness and prosperity. Throughout the story there are many characters introduced to demonstrate to the reader the different types if people living in Chicago and how they try to work for a better tomorrow. The story begins at a wedding of two people in Chicago, whose names are Jurgis and Ona. They began their life together in debt as the result of freeloading people who took advantage of their wedding feast. The story progresses by depicting how Jurgis and Ona met in the old country and how they came to America. The author then illustrates in graphic detail all about the different jobs in which they labored, such as painting cans and sweeping the "killing floor" at a meat packing plant. After many horrible jobs, Jurgis began to think that America was not the place of opportunity, but rather a worker's nightmare. Working in the meat packing plant was extremely hard for Jurgis seeing the slaughtering of pregnant cows. By working almost non-stop after they arrived in America; they were able to save enough money to afford their wedding, which was planned for November. After the wedding only more poverty and sickness plagued the family. Jurgis's father died and Jurgis negotiated the funeral to keep the family from bankruptcy. The novel continues to demonstrate how life was for many hard working urban laborers during that time. The author also paints a vivid picture of the horrible work conditions for the miserable pay that immigrant laborers received. This novel shows how horrible poverty is and how utterly powerless the uneducated American family was during the early twentieth century to anyone who possessed money and power.
At the beginning of the novel, the reader is introduced to Jurgis Rudkus a Lithuanian immigrant who is at his wedding. From the start we learn that Jurgis is a motivated and resilient man, from the outset of the wed