The Jungle written by Upton Sinclair was published in 1906. It exposed the meat factories and this novel alone, changed how the meats were handled and produced. Upton Sinclair exposed how terrible meat factories were. Instead of actually having a book full of fact to interest readers he made up a fictional story and to make it seem he was not targeting meat industries.
Without the efforts of Sinclair, America would have slowly crumbled due to unsanitary meat and the diseases that it holds, and meat factories would eventually learn how to hide the horrid things they were putting in the meat if the unsanitary conditions were not caught so early. Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore but raised in New York. As a child, he was very intelligent and he studied at the City College of New York and Columbia University. He wrote several novels as a young adult and he became well known as his career progressed.
But one day a newspaper hired him to go undercover and help them expose how bad the meat factories were, his first hand experiences inspired him to write a work of fiction with a storyline that was not focused on exposing the meat factories but rather mentioned them enough where people started to realize the horrible conditions of meat. The scene setting of The Jungle is set in the early nineteenth hundreds mostly in Packingtown, Chicago. Even though Juris travels, his destinations are written as minor and he is trying to get himself together throughout his time away from his family.
The family themselves is mostly in Packingtown throughout the novel. “The Jungle exposed the processing of diseased, condemned livestock, the disgusting of malodorous meat with dyes and bleach and the grinding-up of sawdust and rat feces into sausage… “(Phelps). This quote can simply sum up with Sinclair did his work to expose the factories through this book. The book may not be directed towards meat industries but their horrid behavior did not go unnoticed.
The Jungle is about a poor Lithuania family that immigrates to America to make a fortune, like many other people during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But the only jobs many of these immigrants were qualified for was disgusting and hard jobs no one wanted. In the particular novel the unappealing jobs they take are in meat factories, but this novel is much more than how a family makes it in a new country. “in a society dominated by the fact of commercial competition, money is necessarily the set of powers, and wasteful the sole criterion of power”(Sinclair 375).
This quote plays a big factor on this novel. It exposes the real life mayhem about the unsanitary conditions of meat factories, on the workers and the meat were put through. The Jungle exposed several different meat factories all across America. This novel alone causes several different acts and laws to be passed to prevent meats in meat factories from being contaminated, and for example, companies cannot just put any kind of meat into a package and call it chicken. “Sinclair’s novel helped initiate federal regulations—a century later… (Backelder).
The effects of Sinclair’s writing has a big impact on todays society even today. An instance of the such regulation is the Pure Food and Drug Act which various laws that passed to insure that the food and ingredients, that factories said they were selling were the actually thing. “They used everything about the hog except the squeal”(Sinclair 38). This quote from the book is evidence that meat factories say the product is bacon, but will use any part of the big to meat demands even if it is not the correct body parts.
With Sinclair’s efforts he saved America from going into down fall from petty mistakes from factory putting whatever they please into meats. This novel did not single handily made all these changes happen. But what it did do was open they eyes of the readers and America to take into affect of what was in their meats. Sinclair wrote this book more for people to be aware of the conditions of the workers and what they were exposed to, but the people were more concerned about the state of the food supply, is what was explained in the article by(Sinclair).
In a way it is funny how he set out to impact everyone a certain way with what the workers conditions but ended up impacting them on a less minor concern of his with what the meat actually was. “As a result of the book’s revelation, the public called legislation to improve on the unhealthy, unsanitary conditions in the meatpacking industry. “(Sinclair). Once people actually realized what was going into the meats they were buying they demanded for better quality meat. Also in that time period it was very common to buy something from the store and get sick from it.
What if they rejected to publish the novel and the public was never made aware of what was going on? If not stopped so early many more people could have died. To add onto that in this time period there was not televisions, phones, and social media. People only knew things in the community from reading articles and newspapers. But now people always were updated on the latest news, back then with times being so hard and everyone in the family needing to work there wasn’t always time for people to sit down and read newspapers. This incident could have gone on for many more years if we did not pick up on it so quickly.
The reason why Sinclair wrote this article and how he impacted so many people on such a powerful level was that he had first hand experience in these factories. He was hired by a newspaper to investigate the factories and help expose them. He posed as a worker. He also asked several different workers how they felt about what they were putting in the meat, better explained by (“The Jungle”-American decades Primary Sources). It would be boring hearing from someone that has never actually worked in the factories. That’s why his experiences and the way he felt was to pure and true in describing the conditions of the factors.
Most of the people besides the bosses of the factories really made any decent kind of money, so the poor factory workers at the same time would not say anything about the situation. -“He saw workers fill vats with rats’… “(“The Jungle”American decades Primary Sources). It is amazing what they would do to the meat. Majority of people would not buy any kind of meat if a rat has been near it. That’s why this novel was a real eye opener for many Americans in this time. Many people might even go far enough to say that Sinclair was a hero.
He defiantly did risk his reputation and even his life to go into the filthy ridden factory to get information. Not many people were educated enough in this time to really realize what was going on. It was up to the educated to help the people come to there senses. “a legacy he would accept, since it is true that this novel did indeed affect society in the way he wanted all of his books to do. “(“The Jungle”- Novel for Students). It must be an amazing feeling knowing that all your hard work really did make a difference. This novel and Upton Sinclair will always be remember for the man who saved America.
If it was not for Upton Sinclair and his efforts many more people could have died and the meat companies could have eventually learned that people were starting to get suspicions about the meats and star to cover it up but still give people rats parts etc. It takes a man with true courage to go out of his way to really help so many people Also this book changed America in many ways, it ensured that the meats people buy at stores will not have such a high risk of getting sick. He is a true inspiration in the under cover work Sinclair did and he will be remembered for a very long time.