Jennie's Reviews > The Jungle

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
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's review
Aug 14, 10

really liked it
bookshelves: gg-classics, library-book, read-in-august, read-in-2010, historical-fiction
Read from August 03 to 04, 2010

My thoughts on this book summed in one word would have to be: deplorable. Not only the conditions in which the immigrants lived or how inhumane the stockyards were, but also the treatment from human to human, all were deplorable. The family came to America in search of greener pastures and while we know that those aren’t usually found, the life that they walked into was one of dishonesty from almost everyone around them and absolutely no voice in any matters that affected them. I was heartbroken time and time again to see them battered and abused and wanted to scream at their abusers at how cruel they were. They were taken advantage of left and right, for being illiterate in English, for being foreign, for being poor, for being a woman. Everything gave way to this type of treatment and I felt hollow after finishing this novel. The tragedy that struck this family and many of those in the same shoes was enough to leave any reader feeling void and lost.

In regards to the meat-packing industry of the time, that was just plain disgusting. I can only thank Upton Sinclair for his brilliant window into this revolting environment since he pushed for federal regulations to clean this industry up. They were doing hideous things like reusing spoiled meat and had such unclean working environments the workers were standing and sweating into the items that would go on the shelves. I am sure there is still room for improvement in the current meat industry but the changes brought upon by this book helped move us forward into a better environment and more humane attitudes towards the animals we eat.

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Reading Progress

08/03/2010 page 70
21.0% "Um, ew!"
08/04/2010 page 261
78.0% "Gross - check, Depression - check, check."
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