Upton Sinclair: The Jungle

(2871 words)

Pronounced “the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of wage slavery” by Jack London, Upton Beall Sinclair’s bestselling The Jungle ranks among the most influential and enduring pieces of American social protest fiction. Adapting the journalistic approach of earlier muckraking exposés such as Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives (1890) and Lincoln Steffens’s The Shame of the Cities (1904), The Jungle traces the inevitable demise of Jurgis Rudkus and his family – poor Lithuanian immigrants whose American Dream is viciously crushed by the predatory capitalist environment of Chicago’s meatpacking industry. Shifting from a documentary style to blunt didacticism, the …

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Citation:
Piep, Karsten. "The Jungle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 January 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=458, accessed 23 September 2014.]