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The Disgusting Socialist Jungle The Jungle considered Upton Sinclairs greatest achievement shows the deplorable conditions in meat packing plants as well as moving the reader on the path to socialism In order for Sinclair to give accurate details in the book he spent over a year researching and writing about the conditions on the meat packing plants in Chicago This first hand experience allowed for Sinclair to see the plight of the wage-slaves At the turn of the century no laws were in place to protect the workers or to regulate the shipment of meat The Jungle was originally printed in a socialist newspaper entitled Appeal to Reason When the book was finally published in book form it instigated a pure food movement which brought about the Pure Food and Drug Act The main characters in the novel are Jurgis Rudkus and his wife Ona Lukoszaite both Lithuanian After arriving in America they are taken to Packingtown to find work Packingtown is a section of Chicago where the meat packing industry is centralized As Jurgis and Ona take a tour of the plant they see the unbelievable efficiency and speed at which hogs and cattle are butchered cooked packed and shipped In Packingtown no part of the animal is wasted The tour guide specifically says They use everything about the hog except the squeal 42 After spending some time in the plants the real picture of the meat industry comes out The Jungle describes the horrors of the meat packing industry in great detail People were forced to work from sunrise to after sunset In the meat reserving plants the floors were never dry and the workers would catch horrible foot diseases causing them to loose toes and eventually entire legs The butchers would be forced to move at blinding pace often cutting off fingers among other things They would still have to work or risk losing their job Most of the time
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