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From the very beginning, they fall upon hard times when the house they purchase is found to be in shabby condition and has hidden fees that the family can't afford. With the financial burden that the family is faced with, even the youngest family members are forced to find jobs in plants and factories to contribute what they can.
Jurgis works in an unheated meat-packing plant and is eventually injured on the job and is forced to stay home and recover, but his employers simply refuse to pay him until he is able to return to work. His father finds a job to help keep the family afloat, but sadly the old man dies from the terrible working conditions. Ona, his wife, continues to work, but when her boss commits a terrible act, it leads to Jurgis attacking him and getting sent to jail.
Eventually, Jurgis loses everything and turns to a life of crime for survival. After another stint in prison, Jurgis realizes that he must join the Socialist Movement in order to feel better about his lot in life. Filled with unfair situations, terrible working conditions, and broken promises, The Jungle is a cry for socialism and the call for reform of the working conditions during Sinclair's lifetime.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By MNash on 07-25-16
Stay away from canned meat
I read fast food nation first, and there was a reference to the jungle in it so that's why read this book. The difference between the two books basically 100 years. The similarities striking.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Sumguynobuddynoes on 07-04-18
Graphic, despondent, disheartening.
Following a turn of the century immigrant and his family in the first decade of the 20th century and his behind the scenes expeiences of the Chicago stockyards, meat industry, political corruption, class distinctions, democratic institutions, graft, starvation, poor, rich, capitalists and finally a call to socialism. The book was written before the Bolshevik revolution and as such candy coats the socialist dream which will never work with the human nature of competition and self preservation.
It still spwaks to the human condition today where corruption has not been replaced with idealism. Greed is as addictive as any drug. It continues today.