Prof. Joe Gonzales
ENG 1A FINAL
23 July, 2009
Capitalism! Écrasez l'Infâme (Crush the Infamy)
The Rudkus family arrived from Lithuania to find Chicago as a city in which justice and honor, women's bodies and men's souls, were for sale in the marketplace, and human beings writhed and fought and fell upon each other like wild animals, in which lusts were raging fires, and men were fuel, and humanity was festering and stewing and wallowing in its own corruption (Sinclair 165). The city, during the time span of the novel, was truly a jungle-like society in which Upton Sinclair found much fault and great room for improvement. Sinclair perceived the problem in American society to be the destructive reign of capitalism.
In The Jungle, he presented the reader with the Rudkus family who encountered a great deal of strife and anguish, through which the evils of American capitalism were portrayed. Upton Sinclair strongly believed in the power of the Socialist party as means of reform, so that the working class would finally have a fair chance of survival against the harsh realms of society. By havocking America's supposed capitalist induced problems upon Jurgis and his family, Upton Sinclair used The Jungle as means of socialist promotional propaganda.
The Rudkus family met innumerable horrific occurrences during their struggle in Chicago. The time when the family came to the United States was a period of appalling conditions for the working class. At this phase of history there were practically no workplace safety regulations at all. Employers were free to dictate work conditions as they saw fit for their own personal welfare. There were no social safety nets such as workman's compensation, welfare, or unemployment insurance. Also, if a person was seriously injured on the job to the point that he was prevented from working, he was simply out of work without any tolerance of the injured inquiring of his job being held during recovery...
Cited: "The American Experience | Andrew Carnegie | Gilded Age" PBS, 1999. Web. 23 July 2009. .
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. New York: Signet Classics, 1960.
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