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Word Count: 1,522
I aimed at Americas heart and by accident I hit it in the stomach This statement attributed to writer Upton Sinclair is in reference to Sinclairs novel The Jungle The Jungle written in the early twentieth century depicts the horrors and corruption of the cities and its industries Specifically the novel is aimed at putting down the meat packaging industry The novels title symbolizes the competitive nature of the city the world of Packingtown the place where the protagonist Jurgis abodes is like a Darwinian jungle in which the strong prey on the weak and all living things are engaged in a brutal fight for survival This can be summed up as Social Darwinism a nineteenth century philosophy which essentially held that society was designed to reward the strongest best people while inferior people were kept down at a suitable level By relating the story of a group of honest hardworking immigrants who are destroyed by corruption and evil Sinclair tries to rebuke the idea of Social Darwinism implying that those who succeed in this corrupt system are not the best of humankind but rather the worst and most crooked of all The meat packaging industry is the strong while Jurgis and the rest of the immigrants are the weak Throughout the novel the reader is given images that make it easy to feel horrifically sorry for the weaker Jurgis and the rest of his family While on the other hand Sinclair also gives the reader images that simply make it easy to vomit The Jungle is full of scenes that depict the Lithuanian immigrants suffering From the start of the novel the reader is rooting for the success of Jurgis and his depleted family They are forced to take on grueling hours and work through hunger and illness they must go to work even when they are exceptionally sick The only joy that the family has in their lives is watching the young
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