A bright eyed and eager Lithuanian by the name of Jurgis Rudkus, travels to America with his family in hopes of living the American dream. A place which others in his country have spoken so highly of. However, upon arriving they quickly discover the harshness of life in Chicago. This happens when Jurgis and his new wife have their wedding party, and it ends up putting them in debt before their quest for the American dream has even begun. Jurgis and his family live and begin to work in the meat packing area of Chicago, known as packing town. It does not take long before the harsh living for immigrants in packing town takes its effect on the family. The family members, young and old, are all forced to work to survive. But even that can’t stop the brutality of packing town from claiming several members of the family’s lives. Eventually, because of the painful tolls of his struggles in packing town, and the death of his wife and son, Jurgis goes through various stages where he engages in acts of thievery, muggings, alcoholism and political corruption. However, Jurgis finds his salvation when he gets a job as a porter at an inn and is introduced to the socialist party.
(B) What is the author’s background?
Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr, was born September 20th, 1878. Mr. Sinclair’s parents were complete social opposites. His mother was a strict Episcopalian who pushed her religious and moral beliefs very hard upon him. His father was a poor liquor salesman who drove his family into poverty.
Though growing up poor he did get to see how the wealthy people in America lived, as he spent much of his time with his wealthy maternal grandparents.
Mr. Sinclair was a very intelligent student and an avid reader and writer. Because of his literary prowess, he enrolled in New York’s City College at the young age of fourteen. He also attended Columbia University as a law student before becoming a socialist political activist and renowned novelist.
(C) What political agenda is in the book?
The political agenda in this book is to promote socialism by degrading capitalism. Sinclair tried to frighten the American public by using a comparison between cruel factory owners and capitalism, best depicted by the character Phil Connor. He also uses examples of how…