The Jungle Essay Research Paper The Jungle 2 — страница 2

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many cattle no one had ever dreamed existed in the world. Red cattle, black, white, and yellow cattle; old cattle and young cattle; great bellowing bulls and little calves not an hour born; meek-eyed milch cows and fierce, long-horned Texas steers? (32-33). It would have taken all day just to count all of the pens. Groups of cattle would be driven to the chutes, which were roadways about fifteen feet wide, raised high about the pens. In these chutes the stream of animals was continuous. It was quite uncanny to watch them, pressing on to their fate, all unsuspicious, ?a very river of death? (33). Sinclair describes the way in which hogs were killed: ?They had chains which they fastened about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the chain they hooked into one of the

rings upon the wheel. So, as the wheel turned, a hog was suddenly jerked off his feet and borne aloft. At the top of the wheel he was shunted off upon a trolley, and went sailing down the room? (35). The hogs then went down a line where several workers preformed different tasks of taking the hogs apart and using them for meat. The working conditions for the meatpackers were so bad that a worker could be killed or severely injured. If the worker was severely injured, it could take months for him to heal, and by that time he would be unemployed. The owners of these plants cared nothing for their workers. All they cared about was their money. They would do anything for their money even if that meant not taking care of their workers. Cut backs were made on safety procedures that

injured or even killed the workers. Workers had no place to wash their hands before they ate dinner, so they made a practice of washing them in the water that was to be ladled into the sausage. The workers would have to work in freezers were the meat was to kept to be preserved. Sinclair told of a young boy in a freezer that had hardly any warm clothes on and his ears where so cold that when they tried to rub them to get warm one of the young boy?s ears fell off. They weren?t very well-clothed. They would catch awful colds and not only that they would have to stand in chemicals ankle deep. A worker could be cutting something and be startled and slice his hand open. There would be nothing to put on the wound to help avoid infection or disease. Sinclair topped off his novel with a

final disclosure. He describes tank rooms full of steam in which men labored on slippery floors processing the meat. Open vats laid upon the level of the floor, the peculiar trouble of these workers ?was they fell into the vats; and when they were fished out, there was never enough of them left to be worth exhibiting. Sometimes they would be overlooked for days, till all but the bones of them had gone out to the world as Anderson?s Pure Leaf Lard? (Cook 112)! To insure that the meatpacking plants would stay open the owners would do just about anything. Any inspector who tried to interfere with the system did not last long. Government inspectors were afraid for their life, so they would lie and pass the meat off as okay for public consumption. Owners paid up to two thousand

dollars a week ?hush money? from the tubercular steers alone. Also, the same with hogs which died of cholera on the trains, and which you might see them being loaded into box cars and hauled away to a place called Globe, in Indiana, where they made a fancy lard. Meat would also be covered up so that they would pass inspection and be able to be sold in the city. To cover it up the workers would put chemicals in it so that it would cover up the smell or even to turn the meat color to its original color if it had been moldy or old. The Jungle had a wide variety of influences on just about everybody who read the novel. Sinclair?s descriptions of the meat made people ?stare with horror at the corned beef on their dinner tables and promptly write to their congressmen? (Fischer 1). Long

before Sinclair?s novel, a good many voters had suspected something was wrong in the Packing Industry, because hundreds of soldiers had gotten sick on embalmed beef during the Spanish-American War. Disease had swept the ranks; death rates had soared. It was later reported, with no exaggeration , ?that more American fighting men had been killed off by the meat packers than by Spanish bullets? (Cook 115). The novel appeared for sale on February 16, 1905. Having investigated the Chicago packinghouses, Sinclair hoped to arouse sympathy for the conditions of the workers and promote the cause of socialism, but in the process he also included graphic description of the filth and poisons that was put into canned meats. Sinclair was disappointed that the public read The Jungle as an