The Jungle

I believe Sinclair's statement to be entirely accurate. He is aiming for the heartstrings from the veryfirst page.The image of the wedding feast of Jurgis and Ona lulls the reader into a false sense of knowledge about these characters.We would almost believe this could be any wedding for two young people who have the whole world in front of them and nothing but endless promise to look forward to.The wholefirst chapter is a vivid description of the wedding feast with only an inkling of what their life is truly like slipping through.Sinclair mentions Mikolas and his various bouts with blood poisoning from cutting his hands at work, which laid him up for months at a time with no compensation for the time lost (Sinclair p. 28).You get another glimpse at their lives when he talks about the expense of this feast and how it will end up costing more than most in the room earn in a year (Sinclair p. 31).The reader also gets theirfirst glimpse into Sinclair's mindset concerning American society when he writes about how the young men, who
would be much more respectful back in the old country, are shirking their responsibility to the veselija and partaking of the wedding feast but not donating to help offset the costs
Sinclair was obviously trying to provoke public sympathy for his immigrant characters.The novel is rife with examples of what could only be described as inhuman working conditions.Long hours in unsanitary conditions with short, if any, breaks.The pay was low for most work, even extremely dangerous work.They worked in job locations where the laborers would freeze in the winter and bake in the summer.Standing in liquid and filth in unventilated, enclosed rooms which would eventually cause physical maladies that would prohibit them from working again.Women did a lot of the same work as the men, working in the same lousy conditions, but were paid less money than the men.Children also worked i…


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