The Jungle

Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle is a book of hardship in which Sinclair uses the greed and apathy of large trusts and corporations to further back his support of socialism. He does this by supplying real life examples to discredit capitalism and purvey a sense of helplessness among immigrants including: The constant search and protection of a job for all the characters, the extent which characters will go just to survive, and by the sense of unity found through socialism. America to Jurgis Rudkus, the main protagonist, is seen at first as a beacon of hope where he can go and make his riches. By the end of the novel it is seen as a dark destructive force that consumes all in its path and must be stopped. Throughout the novel Jurgis and many of the members of his make-shift family are plagued by a never ending series of injuries that prevent them from working.
In The Jungle a job means surviving. Without a job there is no chance that they would be alive In the beginning of the novel Jurgis has no trouble finding a job. He is strong and a dedicated worker often saying “I will work Harder” (22). At first this hold true, Jurgis borders on arrogance, hating unions, thinking everyone else is lazy and slow. Later on however, years of working have taken their tolls on Jurgis who is left slow and weak. Through unsafe and unsanitary working conditions many people fall sick and are unable to ever take a day off and recover. Later on in the novel Ona Rudkus is raped by her boss on the threat that she will be fired. This desperation that she has fallen on simply to keep an income shows how much those few dollars a day means to their survival as well as the prevalent corruption common in people with positions of power. Sinclair shows the hopeless plight of the laborers to depict the uncaring coldness capitalism brings to those who are the key pushers in it.
Some people chose to go a different route in order to survive. Marija Berczynskas, Ona's cousin, decides to try...