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Comparative Analysis of the Books the Jungle and Fast Food Nation

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The Jungle and Fast Food Nation both focus in on the hazards and horrors of the food industry. The Jungle focuses more on the industry of the early 1900’s, while Fast Food Nation focuses more on a more modern workplace. The Jungle and Fast Food Nation both have social and political patterns like worker’s wages, illegal employee practices, and workplace safety hazards that still occur in the modern day.

The working wages in Fast Food Nation and The Jungle are problems in both books. The Jungle outlines the lives of Lithuanian immigrants who are required to get jobs in Chicago’s meatpacking district, Packingtown. The family of twelve arrive in America only to find out that it is not what they thought it was. Four of the twelve family members are physically able to work, and must do so for the family to live. Jurgis, the strong and working male figure of the family, acquires a job at a beef processing plant sweeping guts off of the floor. Jurgis makes one dollar and fifty cents for working a ten hour work day. His fiancee, Ona, Ona’s cousin, Ona’s step-uncle, and Jurgis’s Father also find jobs in this meat packing plant, making similar money. The money that is made from the four people working is pooled together to try to pay for a down payment on a house. After the down payment is made, the family members, mainly Jurgis, must keep working to pay the twelve dollar a month fee to live an pay off the house. For this family, that price is slightly expensive, but it is doable, and it is what they must do to survive. This unfortunate path is one that many people are still experiencing today.

Similar to the Lithuanian immigrant family in The Jungle, people today are not making what they need to survive. A news article from the Huffington Post reports that, in 2017, a person working full time for the federal minimum wage of 7.25 an hour cannot afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. It is reported that the rate to rent such an apartment would require at least double the amount of federal minimum wage in almost every state. The Lithuanian family would not even be making minimum wage in their time, which is in the year 1906. According to Fraser Economic History, the minimum wage for a Pattern Maker like Marija, Ona’s cousin, is forty cents an hour. Not even receiving minimum wage would make life almost impossible for workers in this time. Like the Lithuanian immigrant family from The Jungle, poor or lower class income people with jobs that pay minimum wage cannot afford to pay for their homes, and their human needs like food and water. The same pattern of underpaying employees is still happening more than one hundred years after The Jungle takes place.

Another pattern that is evident in The Jungle is the practice of desperate immigrants looking for money being thrown into jobs that do not pay well for the long hard hours that they will work. As previously stated, some members of the Lithuanian family in The Jungle are forced to obtain jobs in a meatpacking plant. They work long, ten to twelve hour days, and work those long days for less than the minimum wage of forty cents an hour that they should have been receiving. The same thing is still going on in America today. A report done by the Texas Tribune writes that undocumented immigrants have plenty of work for them. Although they have a plethora of work to choose from, some workers will earn around ninety dollars for a fourteen hour workday, which comes out to about $6.41 an hour. The hiring and shadowy paying of illegal immigrants is also evident in Fast Food Nation. The book describes how almost one-sixth of America’s fast food workers are in the U.S illegally. These workers are always expendable as well, giving unfair amounts of power to the employer and very low amounts of power to the employee. Much like the Lithuanians, immigrants still get taken advantage of in the modern day workforce. Workplace accidents are common in The Jungle and still happen in the workplace today. In The Jungle, Jurgis suffers an ankle injury. A steer breaks loose in the kill floor, and the entire floor breaks into a frenzy. Men are scattering, many of them with large knives in their hands. Jurgis, while trying to avoid a violent, escaped steer, and men brandishing knives and falling and running about, catches his foot in a trap that catches blood and guts from the steers that are slaughtered. He twists his ankle. At first, he does not realize he has injured his ankle, and continues to work. The next day, Jurgis can barely put his boot on to go to work. He nearly passes out on the job, but a doctor at the plant sends him home. He is devastated and scared that he cannot work and support his family on the scarce wage he gets. Many workers at dangerous plants like these continue to work even if injured because they need the pay to survive. If they are out of work for an injury, they might not receive pay. Meat manufacturing is still a dangerous job in the modern day. Safety regulations have evolved since the time of Jurgis, but the problem still persists. A report done by NPR states that in nine years, 151 people died from work related injuries at meatpacking plants. NPR also said that meatpacking injuries are higher than any other manufacturing, and that also many of the accidents that happen at said meat packing plants go underreported or undocumented because of technicalities. One of the reasons being that many workers are immigrants or lower class people, and they do not want to report their injury to protect their job.

While both focusing on the industry of food, The Jungle and Fast Food Nation both focus on different times. The Jungle, taking place in 1906, focuses on a time where the workplace was not as regulated as it is now. Fast Food Nation focuses on a more recent era of the workplace. Both of these books, however, have similar political and social patterns that relate to the modern day, like unfair wages, employers hiring illegal and shadowy employees, and the hazards that come with working in the food industry.The Jungle and Fast Food Nation both focus in on the hazards and horrors of the food industry. The Jungle focuses more on the industry of the early 1900’s, while Fast Food Nation focuses more on a more modern workplace. The Jungle and Fast Food Nation both have social and political patterns like worker’s wages, illegal employee practices, and workplace safety hazards that still occur in the modern day.

The working wages in Fast Food Nation and The Jungle are problems in both books. The Jungle outlines the lives of Lithuanian immigrants who are required to get jobs in Chicago’s meatpacking district, Packingtown. The family of twelve arrive in America only to find out that it is not what they thought it was. Four of the twelve family members are physically able to work, and must do so for the family to live. Jurgis, the strong and working male figure of the family, acquires a job at a beef processing plant sweeping guts off of the floor. Jurgis makes one dollar and fifty cents for working a ten hour work day. His fiancee, Ona, Ona’s cousin, Ona’s step-uncle, and Jurgis’s Father also find jobs in this meat packing plant, making similar money. The money that is made from the four people working is pooled together to try to pay for a down payment on a house. After the down payment is made, the family members, mainly Jurgis, must keep working to pay the twelve dollar a month fee to live an pay off the house. For this family, that price is slightly expensive, but it is doable, and it is what they must do to survive. This unfortunate path is one that many people are still experiencing today.

Similar to the Lithuanian immigrant family in The Jungle, people today are not making what they need to survive. A news article from the Huffington Post reports that, in 2017, a person working full time for the federal minimum wage of 7.25 an hour cannot afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. It is reported that the rate to rent such an apartment would require at least double the amount of federal minimum wage in almost every state. The Lithuanian family would not even be making minimum wage in their time, which is in the year 1906. According to Fraser Economic History, the minimum wage for a Pattern Maker like Marija, Ona’s cousin, is forty cents an hour. Not even receiving minimum wage would make life almost impossible for workers in this time. Like the Lithuanian immigrant family from The Jungle, poor or lower class income people with jobs that pay minimum wage cannot afford to pay for their homes, and their human needs like food and water. The same pattern of underpaying employees is still happening more than one hundred years after The Jungle takes place.

Another pattern that is evident in The Jungle is the practice of desperate immigrants looking for money being thrown into jobs that do not pay well for the long hard hours that they will work. As previously stated, some members of the Lithuanian family in The Jungle are forced to obtain jobs in a meatpacking plant. They work long, ten to twelve hour days, and work those long days for less than the minimum wage of forty cents an hour that they should have been receiving. The same thing is still going on in America today. A report done by the Texas Tribune writes that undocumented immigrants have plenty of work for them. Although they have a plethora of work to choose from, some workers will earn around ninety dollars for a fourteen hour workday, which comes out to about $6.41 an hour. The hiring and shadowy paying of illegal immigrants is also evident in Fast Food Nation. The book describes how almost one-sixth of America’s fast food workers are in the U.S illegally. These workers are always expendable as well, giving unfair amounts of power to the employer and very low amounts of power to the employee. Much like the Lithuanians, immigrants still get taken advantage of in the modern day workforce. Workplace accidents are common in The Jungle and still happen in the workplace today. In The Jungle, Jurgis suffers an ankle injury. A steer breaks loose in the kill floor, and the entire floor breaks into a frenzy. Men are scattering, many of them with large knives in their hands. Jurgis, while trying to avoid a violent, escaped steer, and men brandishing knives and falling and running about, catches his foot in a trap that catches blood and guts from the steers that are slaughtered. He twists his ankle. At first, he does not realize he has injured his ankle, and continues to work. The next day, Jurgis can barely put his boot on to go to work. He nearly passes out on the job, but a doctor at the plant sends him home. He is devastated and scared that he cannot work and support his family on the scarce wage he gets. Many workers at dangerous plants like these continue to work even if injured because they need the pay to survive. If they are out of work for an injury, they might not receive pay. Meat manufacturing is still a dangerous job in the modern day. Safety regulations have evolved since the time of Jurgis, but the problem still persists. A report done by NPR states that in nine years, 151 people died from work related injuries at meatpacking plants. NPR also said that meatpacking injuries are higher than any other manufacturing, and that also many of the accidents that happen at said meat packing plants go underreported or undocumented because of technicalities. One of the reasons being that many workers are immigrants or lower class people, and they do not want to report their injury to protect their job.

While both focusing on the industry of food, The Jungle and Fast Food Nation both focus on different times. The Jungle, taking place in 1906, focuses on a time where the workplace was not as regulated as it is now. Fast Food Nation focuses on a more recent era of the workplace. Both of these books, however, have similar political and social patterns that relate to the modern day, like unfair wages, employers hiring illegal and shadowy employees, and the hazards that come with working in the food industry.

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Comparative Analysis Of The Books The Jungle And Fast Food Nation. (2020, September 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 29, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-the-books-the-jungle-and-fast-food-nation/
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Comparative Analysis Of The Books The Jungle And Fast Food Nation. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-the-books-the-jungle-and-fast-food-nation/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2020].
Comparative Analysis Of The Books The Jungle And Fast Food Nation [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Sept 01 [cited 2020 Nov 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-the-books-the-jungle-and-fast-food-nation/
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