Shocking but Insightful
This is the first time I read The Jungle from start to finish (having to read an excerpt in 9th grade) and I have to say, this is a pretty good book IF you understand it. I thought the ending was a bit dragging as Sinclair went off talking about Socialism, on and on and on, but overall, this was one book that really got me thinking. I am now reading SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser (because i have to write a paper discussing the two books O_o) which has some similar themes of class and socialism/capitalism.
For all of you guys that said this book was gross....yea it is. But that's what really makes this book impackful. Sinclair wrote in a way that will shock readers and grab their attention. In other words, he's saying "HEY WORLD! PAY ATTENTION! ACKNOWLEDGE IT AND TAKE ACTION" Some of the horrors in the story might be exageratted a little but overall, these stories are true. And they happened. Just because it is gross doesn't mean that we should disregard them. We need to be aware of them.
It took be forever to go through the book because i had to keep going back and reread portions of it. I still don't get some parts because this isn't an easy book. For those who read the book and only got from it a story of a struggling man and his family in a capitalist country, i don't think you might have missed some stuff. Sinclair is an obvious pro for Socialism because of his strong spokesmen-like beliefs for the rights of a working man. But I really think that if you dig deeper into the story, you will get so much more from the story.
So, I have no idea what you were thinking when you wrote this.
First of all, "Impackful" isn't a word. Impactful isn't either. Kudos!
Second of all, the book was written more for the Socialist point than the meatpacking point. When Sinclair wrote the book, he had no idea it would create the Pure Food and Drugs Act. He was hoping for people to look at the worker's plight and change something about the worker's plight. About the fact that most people were taking home 60% of what was considered enough money for a life without leisure.
Gross has nothing to do with the point he WANTED to prove. He was trying to bring people into the Socialist party. Worker's plight, blah-blah-blah.
As for truth in the story, Sinclair was a muckraker, which means he over exaggerates things to prove his point. People falling into lard tanks and just being stirred in? Helloooo?
I find it very interesting that the legislation that in large part resulted from this book was in fact opposed by Sinclair because he understood that it would hurt more than help the smaller firms and by extension, their workers. He knew that he wasn't writing a documentary of factual conditions, it was a work of fiction with some tidbits of fact sprinkled here and there. He understood how more often than not government regulation helped big business by driving smaller businesses out of business due to onerous compliance requirements. His goal was to promote sympathy for the worker, not to wreck the meat packing industry. The new regulation legislation amounted to little more than a bailout for the meat packing industry, which had been badly damaged by the sensationalism created by Sinclair's book and the subsequent congressional investigation. The investigation and new regulations cost millions of dollars and served primarily to demonstrate to the public that meat was safe to eat. Small producers went out of business or were gobbled up by larger ones. We ended up with less choice and an industry that had concentrated its power base. The "good ole boy" system was not only still in place, but more powerful than ever. The big loser was the common man. Sinclair's book helped to reinforce a widely held public misconception that government interference is always a good thing. Once again, the law of unintended consequences had far more impact than the original intent.
For one man's take on The Jungle and its consequences, have a look at http://www.thefreemanonline.org/colu...meat-and-myth/
which is arguably conservative, but also exposes obvious truths.