The events that occur in Upton Sinclair’s book “The Jungle” were same things that people in the early 20th century had to deal with everyday. For example labor was exploited to the employers benefit. Political corruption and prostitution were some main points in the book. The most important idea, the book supports socialism over capitalism as an economic and social structure. These things are what they had to go through and will be further explained.
The labor force was exploited to the employers’ benefits. The workers didn’t have any set wages. “A very few days of practical experience in this land of high wages had been sufficient to make clear to them the cruel fact that it was also a land of high prices, and that in it the poor man was almost as poor as in any other corner of the earth; and so there vanished in a night all the wonderful dreams of wealth that had been haunting Jurgis. What had made the discovery all the more painful was that they were spending, at American prices, money which they had earned at home rates of wages–and so were really being cheated by the world!” There were unsafe working conditions that the workers had to tolerate day after day the company had no care of. . The injury was not one that Durham and Company could be held responsible for, and so that was all there was to it, so far as the doctor was concerned. Also was no job security, the workers fear of being fired anytime of the day. For example, due to their overproduction in the summer, the workers were forced to shut down in the winter making the workers unemployed when they need financial support the most.
Political corruption and prostitution were some things that went on in the story. The politicians didn’t care about anybody but themselves and the vote that they get. “Whose fault was it that at the hours when workingmen were going to their work
and back, the cars were so crowded that the conductors could not collect all the fares? And besides, the companies were thieves, people said–had stolen all their franchises with the help of scoundrelly politicians!” Also prostitution was a big problem also. Young girls who are just trying to survive or women who have to families need means to support them were forced into prostitution as an easy way of getting money. “Marriage and prostitution were two sides of one shield, the predatory man’s exploitation of the sex pleasure.” “If she had no money, she was a proletarian, and sold herself for an existence.”
The book also supports the idea that socialism over capitalism as an economic and social structure. The book shows that the working class is lowest end of society, but if the workers can make a difference. If they pull together and fight the system they will win their freedom. ”When a Socialist was elected to office he voted with old party legislators for any measure that was likely to be of help to the working class, but he never forgot that these concessions, whatever they might be, were trifles compared with the great purpose–the organizing of the working class for the revolution.”
These were some of the things that went during that time. It was a hard time for the immigrants but it turned out that these immigrants were the ones that made this great country America. Without them we wouldn’t be at where at without them.