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Jungle Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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The Jungle Rhetorical Analysis

​In the novel The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, which takes place in the early 20th century, Sinclair is describing the deplorable conditions faced by the immigrants who work in the Chicago stockyards. It was considered a luxury at that time for women to support themselves and their family, often times it was left up to the men (even young men) to support their families. With having arduous conditions in many of the factories, which was due to the manipulative capitalist system, many of the women often resulted to prostitution and exploiting themselves just to make a living and survive. This situation played a role in causing the writer Upton Sinclair to have an epiphany and write the novel The Jungle. Furthermore Sinclair was worried about the fact that capitalism was forcing these women to be victimized and manipulated due to them being immigrants. In his novel, Sinclair talks about how baleful the capitalist leaders and how one must find salvation among all the chaos. In The Jungle, Upton Sinclair focuses on the subjugation of characters such as Jurgis, Ona, and Marija by their bosses and owners so that readers realize how abusive and manipulative these capitalists can be to their own employees.

​In chapter 10, Sinclair compares southern slavery to that of immigrant workers in the Chicago slums of Packingtown in order to depict the capitalist system as one that treats their employees as property with no respect for morality. In the following quote the writer expresses his chargin in the immigrants lifestyle and the disparity between the social classes “Here was a population, low-class and mostly foreign, hanging always on the verge of starvation, and dependent for its opportunities of life upon the whim of men every bit as brutal and unscrupulous as the old-time slave-drivers; under such circumstances immorality was exactly as inevitable, and as prevalent, as it was under the system of chattel slavery” (Sinclair 113). These immigrants, according to Sinclair, lose their power of agency and self-sufficiency because of economic powers beyond their control. Corrupt and indecent capitalists and politicians control the mechanisms of economy that pay low wages and then swindle immigrants out of these wages with poor quality goods and over priced services. Because immigrants often do not understand the culture or language, they have no way to guard themselves against such abuse. Immigrants are thus "chained" to jobs that pay them very low wages. All of their money must go towards low quality goods and services that keep them in poverty, meaning that they then cannot advance themselves in society. As with slavery, only those that control these men and women make money from their labor



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