The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Economic competition has been a constant struggle throughout the history of society. One example of this struggle is The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. The Jungle is a journey of a group of Lithuanian immigrants to America. This is a journey into a new world for them. They have come to America simply to start a new life and make a living for their family. While telling the story, Upton Sinclair engages the reader in a symbolic and metaphorical war against capitalism. Sinclair's contempt for capitalist society is present throughout the novel, from cover to cover, personified by the eagerness of a man to work. There is a constant struggle for survival of the workers of Packingtown.
The story revolves around the life and family of Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant who comes to America with his wife Ona, their children, and a few members of their extended family. They had heard some stories from other Lithuanian immigrants, who had come to America and make a fortune in the free economic system of America. They are starry-eyed looking ahead into their futures. They move into a section of Chicago known as Packingtown, a slum town full of run-down housing and large polluting factories. This is where the workers sped their lives indoors toiling for meager wages. They are unaware of the plots of many citizens to swindle anyone they can and are taken by a few of them. America is not quite what it seems, but they are determined to make lives for themselves there since coming to America was the dream of many immigrants of that period. Their futures hold many unexpected setbacks and disasters that all but break their spirits.
To understand the ways of the political systems is important to this novel, it is necessary to define both capitalism and socialism as they are relevant to The Jungle. Capitalism, and more specifically, laissez-faire capitalism, is the economic system in America. Basically meaning that government stayed out of the...