Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Jungle

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Weight: 6.4 oz
Method of Disposal: Leaving in a Lending Library box in Decatur

I was fairly young when I read The Jungle for the first time.  Because of that the book was able to keep some of its initial power and momentum that made it successful and important to the world in the first place.  It was probably one of the first times I was exposed to (in a book) the American systems of oppression in regards to immigration, the working class, and the mass killing of animals.

Most of us are fully aware that The Jungle invoked anger and distrust with the meatpacking industry, even though that was not the main focus of the book.  The main component, obviously, being the people.  It is one agony after another for the Lithuanian family the book centers around.  Workers lose appendages and lives to the machinery and constant push to be faster  at the factory.  Children beg for food in the street and face dangers, such as rape, on a regular basis.  It is heartbreaking.  You find yourself wanting to take a break and, of course, realizing that the family itself can never catch one.  After all these years, I still recommend The Jungle.

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