Jungle Paper, Social Justice

4079 words 17 pages

Impressions of the Jungle From a Social Justice Perspective
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Sherree Boyce
Lehman College

Author Note
This paper was prepared for Social Welfare Institutions and Program, SWK, 639, Section 81, taught by Professor Yvonne Johnson

The novel, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair depicts the lives of poor immigrants in the United States during the early 1900’s. Sinclair is extremely effective in this novel at identifying and expressing the perils and social concerns of immigrants during this era. The turmoil that immigrants faced was contingent on societal values during the era. There was a Social Darwinist sentiment
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They were malnourished, not properly clothed and lived in unsanitary conditions. (Sinclair, 1906)
Physical abuse was commonly used as a form of discipline in this family network. Jurgis often beat poor eleven years old Stanislavas into submission and made him go to work although he feared to work the stockyards when the weather was cold and inclement of snow, due to fear of being severely injured from frost bite. (Sinclair, 1906, p.147)
Nickolas, Vilmas and Kotrina were also beat when they were careless with the profits from selling newspapers. (Sinclair, 1906)
Child Labor Laws:
Jurgis and Ona and their family members were defeated by the stockyard machine and toiled daily in order to hold on to the very little they had. When the adults of the family, Jurgis, Ona, Marija, Jonas and Elzbieta realized that they did not make enough in wages combined to pay the mortgage to their house along with the interest, water, food and furniture bills they decided that Elzbieta’s eldest son, Stanislovas would have to thwart his education and find a job. Considering that Stanislovas was only eleven years old at the time this would violate current labor laws.
Eventually three more children of Elzbieta’s were sent into the labor market on the streets of Packingtown. Kotrina (the only girl, who was two years younger than Stanislovas), Vilmas and Nikalous were all of early adolescence when they were pulled out of school and coerced by the


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