We all know what we do, and we do not know what will happen. Our educated guesses failing at times and being glorified for justification’s sake later. The family in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle depicts just this by every fiber of their hard working being. The qualities above present a perfected formula for real freedom. The gaining of knowledge and the failing or success that will happen to us.
We can plan all we want, but freedom comes only to those who plan the luckiest. Take Jurgis (pronounced Yergis) for example. The strongest of the strong men in the world. He could stop a locomotive and beat John Henry in a fistfight. And why is this? He is strong, and his spirit is unconquerable.
He’ll just work harder if you give him more work. And what a commodity for his employers! Ever to continue along the drooling style of action, ever in the opposition of mother nature, and ever driven by the idea that he will be supporting his beloved family. To live a life in the youth of the 1900’s, and in America, was the dream of so many people. To escape their tyrannical lands, the places their forefathers called home, to live in a place where it was known that every man was free and able to do his own thing, so long as he didn’t hurt another.
Free will, and no one could stop him for doing it. It would seem that a hard worker could go real far. In this time period such hopes were wasted on capitalism. The shammy American dream struck all those who sought to take residence in its comforting nest, and then thrust them out like so many chicks to learn to fly on their own in a harsh and unforgiving world. No man, on any account of strength could survive and live this dream, unless he was dishonest.
Jurgis was an honest man, and so was his family of Lithuanians. Working harder every day for the same scraps of so many men. The work came, and only because Jurgis could prove his strength. ‘Job’ was the only word he really knew when coming to the stockyards, and so it was his nervous energy that made him get a job. Any discussion of The Jungle should mention the unsanitary conditions in the Chicago meatpacking industry at the turn of the century and the federal legislation that Congress passed as a result of the national furor that Sinclair’s muckraking novel created. However, it is equally important to emphasize that The Jungle was–and is–primarily an indictment of wage slavery.
Sinclair’s purpose in writing the novel was to document the inhumane treatment of working men and women in industrial capitalism and to argue that socialism provided the only solution to the problem. The Jungle is related to literary movements in America. First, the novel comes out of the muckraking era. The Muckrakers–so named by Theodore Roosevelt because they, like the Man with the Muckrake in Pilgrim’s Progress, looked down at the filth and ignored the celestial crown–exposed and attempted to correct graft and corruption in both government and business.
He changed many aspects of society in his day and time. He should be looked up to and admired by all, cause without him who knows if we would have gotten this far.Bibliography: