The Jungle:by Upton Sinclair- A cultural revolution ignited
In the late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century the country was experiencing a boom time in the economy, but it came at the expense of the average poor immigrant. As long as business men were making a buck they didnt care or who what they exploited in order to do so. Also, there were no limitations on what any industry can and can not do. The United States Government had a laissez-faire policy at the time, and the economy was let be. This proved harmful to the everyday American because they had no protection under the laws in there workplaces. In the novel The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, he exposes the wrongs of our society at the time by using literary muckraking, to dig the dirt of our economic system.
Society needed a red flag in order for humanitarians of societies middle and upper classes to take affirmative action against inhumane acts involving the workplace. The Jungle was one of the key factors in the progressive movement because of its popularity. Also it is a perfect example of muckraking, and even the graphicness of the book told the horrid tale of the meat packing plants of Chicago. It gave such a realistic image of how life was like for most of the population. This novel sparked a great number of political reforms, the meat packing plants were inspected thoroughly and child labor was outlawed in many states and enforced successfully. The reason why action wasnt taken sooner was because the people who controlled the government were of the upper classes of society, even after these atrocities were exposed many politicians were reluctant to take action because business involved their peers and that is bad business as a politician. The majority of the people of greater means were distraught and took any action they could. For example, many civic leaders such as Seth Low of NY challenged the political machine of New York, Tammany Hall. The progressives never went as far as to starting their own political party, mainly because the two existing parties adopted many of the progressives goals. It never really took off on a national level because the national level politicians knew were their bread was buttered. The feedback this book got indirectly was phenomena it also was a segue to many of the action taken during the Great Depression. Upton Sinclair got his point across ten fold and it basically raked every inch of muck society had to offer.
The government officials of the time were almost forced to go along with this movement because unless they wanted to be out of office they had to adopt reformists policies. They had to regulate almost everything which was always never to be tampered with. They were looking at the problems as humanitarian and they still left the economy alone and this proves an very bad mistake in our history.
Upton Sinclair changed the way our society thought and acted towards being sensitive towards human needs no matter the social background. Sinclair did it using a real family and real event s and that is what made it social stand against the exploitations of children and adults in the workplace and he lived it so that is what made it a real experience for him and made the writing process much more vivid then it would have been without first hand experience. This set the standard for investigative journalism even though it is work of literature. It also sparked a revolution which had been the most constructive revolution socially in history up to this point and I hope Upton Sinclair received acclaim for his work of literature.