Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle'

Words: 564
Pages: 3

“The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair was written during the Progressive Era, 1890-1920, and declared Sinclair as a Progressive writer. Writers like himself sought to bring light to the United States’ economic problems through education, rather than excusing them with Social Darwinism. As the Industrial Revolution ended with a shift in the United States’ economy, workplace conditions adversely got worse while corporations and factory owners gradually became more wealthy. The wealthier the owners, the more poor and insecure their workers became. As a progressive writer, Sinclair investigated workers on the job as he himself spent seven weeks in Chicago’s Packingtown alongside other worker residences nearby the meatpacking district.
While the main purpose for investigation was to reveal the poor workplace conditions, Sinclair also brought light to the issue of the general assumption of the “American Dream”. The dream sought by many immigrants as they fought to enter the country; the dream that was falsely described by Americans for reassurance purposes.
…show more content…
The muckraker, as coined by Teddy Roosevelt, “..intended that his readers would recognize the horrors portrayed in his book were a result of corporate greed and exploitation and that the meatpacking industry was but a microcosm of capitalism- that the jungle was actually industrial capitalism” (Cherny History Now). Writers like him, including Mark Twain and Jack London, took pride in their narrative attack on capitalism and their promotion of socialism. He wanted the readers to open their eyes and see that these conditions were not singularily the Packingtown, Chicago, Illinois, nor the United States, these conditions characterized civilization (Cherny History Now). These characteristics were shadowed by a false hope described as the “American