The Jungle Essay Research Paper The Jungle 2

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The Jungle Essay, Research Paper ?The Jungle is perhaps the most brutal novel ever written in America. It is one long scream of pain and tragedy? (Cook 117). The novel shows the reader how hard being an immigrant was in the early 1900s. Immigrants had to take any job they could, even if that meant working in the packing plants, which Upton Sinclair shows in the novel. Jurgis Radix is the main character. Jurgis and his family move to America searching for a better life. Jurgis works in a packing plant and is continuously loosing his job. Halfway through the book, Jurgis? wife dies trying to give birth. The rest of the novel shows the reader Jurgis?s hardships with his jobs and life. The novel, The Jungle depicts the horrors of meatpacking in the early 1900?s, and helps push

the government for stronger sanitation laws. The conditions in the meatpacking plants were so terrible that several men would died on the job. The things that were in the meat that the public ate were so revolting that Sinclair found it a need to write about it. Sausage meat would be shipped to Europe and be rejected and sent back to the U.S. By the time it reached the U.S., the sausage would be moldy and white, and then it would be ?dosed with borax and glycerin, dumped into hoppers, and then made over again for public consumption ? (Grall 1). Rats were nuisances, and the packers would put poisoned bread out for them, then they would die, and then the rats, bread, and meat would go into the hoppers together. The meat then would be shoveled into carts and the man doing the

shoveling would not trouble to lift out even one rat if he saw it. ?There were things that went into the sausage in comparison with which a poisoned rat was a tidbit? (Aryes 2). Hundreds of tons of meat would be stored in huge piles in rooms, and the water from leaky roofs would drip over it. Thousands of rats would race about on it. ?It was too dark in these storage areas to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles of meat and seep off handfuls of the dried dung rats? (Aryes 2). A person in Packingtown said that, ?they use everything in the pig except the squeal? (Frakes 111). Hams that were spoiled ?with and odor so bad a man could hardly bear to be in the room with them? (Frakes 111) were pumped full of a strong pickle to destroy the odor, then sold to the

public. Sinclair wrote of a case where a physician made the discovery of steer carcasses that were condemned as tubercular by government inspectors, therefore contained ptomaine?s, which are deadly poisons, were carted away to be sold in the city. Another case told about a whole spoiled ham that was spoiled and was cut up by the two-thousand-revolutions-a-minute flyers, and mixed up with half a ton of other meat. ?No odor was in a ham could make any difference? (Aryes 1). Meatpackers would accidentally drop the meat onto the floor, in the dirt and sawdust, where the workers tramped and split uncounted billions of consumption germs. Under the rigid economy which the packers enforced, some jobs only required that it only be paid to do once in a long time, and among these jobs was

the cleaning out of the waste barrels. Every spring they did it; and in the barrels would be dirt, rust, old nails, and stale water. Cart load after cart load of this stuff would be taken up and dumped into the hoppers with fresh meat, and sent out to the public?s breakfast. Sinclair told about the enormous stockyards Chicago had; ?two hundred and fifty miles of track within the yards. The stockyard brought about ten thousand heads of cattle every day, and as many hogs, and half as many sheep, which meant some eight or ten million live creatures turned into food every year. There was over a square mile of space in the yards, and more than half of it was occupied by cattle pens; north and south as far as the eye can reach there stretches a sea of pens. And they were filled, so