Social Class In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Pages: 5

In the late 19th century, a tremendous mass of immigrants migrated to the United States, in order to fulfill the American dream. Those that immigrated, which mainly consisted of: Slovakians, Polish, and Lithuanians, illusioned a dream that involved creating a rich lifestyle for their family, seeking new opportunities, and having a sense of freedom. In reality, life was filled with scammers, low-paying jobs, unsanitized food, and a corrupted society. Sinclair stated, in the novel, “ The great corporation which employed you lied to you, and lied to the whole country-from top to bottom is was nothing but one gigantic lie” (Sinclair). The lower class were stuck in an endless cycle of poverty, due to the fact that big business eliminated competition, which resulted in unrealistic prices and employees being treated as animals. Upton Sinclair’s belief …show more content…
One line states “...The meat will be shoveled into carts and the man who did the shoveling will not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one (Sinclair).” The moment society realized that the wealthy lacked concern for the general well-being, they demanded a reformation of the meat industry. Anger and fear filled the minds of many, which lead to boycotts of the meat industry. Shortly after, news traveled to the national government with requests to commissioners to investigate Chicago's meat-packing plants, to verify the horrors. The commissioner’s results verified the truths, and soon, President Roosevelt started the pathway of a stronger agricultural department. Roosevelt signed the Meat Inspection Act of 1906, which allowed health inspectors to stop any unacceptable meat to pass by. On the same day, he signed The Pure Foods and Drug Act, which regulated food additives and prohibited misleading labelings of food and drugs (Muckraking). After the signing of the two laws, consumers slowly started to trust corporations