Upton Sinclairs The Jungle

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Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle is the tale of a Lithuanian immigrant, Jurgis Rudkus, and his family.Jurgis and his family move to the United States in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, only to find themselves ill-equipped for the transition in the workplace and in society in general.Jurgis faces countless social injustices, and through a series of such interactions, the theme of the book is revealed: the support of socialism over capitalism as an economic and social structure.
Jurgis learns soon after transplanting his family that he alone cannot earn enough to support his entire family, in spite of the intensity of his valiant efforts to work harder.Soon his wife and the rest of his family are working as well, all attempting to chip in to cover family expenses.However, such exposure proves itself to be too dangerous and detrimental to the Rudkuses.Jurgis becomes hardened by his negative experiences as he realizes that, in a capitalist society like the one he was living in, there is no justice.Hard work is not justly rewarded, and often times corruption is rewarded in its place.Through and through, he sees that capitalist life is not fair.Soon he is injured on the job and is forced to stay home and out of work while his mangled foot heals.
Jurgis is sidelined from work for two months, and upon his return he finds himself replaced by another worker.Desperate for a job, he takes a dreaded position at the glue factory.Hi wife is pregnant, his family is working themselves to the breaking point, and the bills are getting the best of them.Jurgis turns to drinking.Things get worse.He learns that his wife has been forced to have sex with her boss.Jurgis, in a rage, attacks the man at the Packing house and is arrested for battery. He spends a month in jail, at which time he meets Jack Duane, a character who introduces him to the “easy” life: a life of crime.Within a month