Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle

jungle image

I first read Upton Sinclair’s great muckraking novel The Jungle in high school and the book made an immediate impression on me. The horrific description of the careless processing of animal products on the slaughtering floor of the Chicago Stockyards made me think twice when my mother offered me brisket or lamb chops for dinner. I think that I abstained from eating hot dogs for a year.
The Jungle’s protagonist, the Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkus, represents the Everyman of the tens of thousands of European newcomers struggling to make a living and support their families in Chicago at the end of the nineteenth century and in the beginning of the twentieth.
Sinclair’s The Jungle still resonates controversy today. On the evening of April 14, at 6:30 pm, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame and the Jane Addams-Hull House Museum are co-sponsoring an event centered on The Jungle. A discussion will be led by Northwestern Associate Professor Bill Savage. There will also be a special performance by Andrew Rathgeber from the Oracle Theater.
This free event is open to the public and is at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800 S. Halsted in Chicago.

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