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"The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair

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"The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair essay
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The novel The Jungle by Upton Sinclair narrates the life story of Jurgis and the tortures that he suffers since his arrival in Chicago with his family. Throughout the story, Sinclair describes the hardships that Jurgis and his family face in this capitalist country. Sinclair, in depth, shows the drawbacks of capitalism through Jurgis’s and others life working in Packingtown. He then, towards the end of the novel introduces socialism as a solution to capitalism and its wickedness. Sinclair tries to persuade his readers to his views that “capitalism is immoral” and “socialism is the only solution to capitalism” He indeed backs up his argument with agreeable evidence and thrives to demonstrate the goodness of socialism. Socialism is better than capitalism and do can help the working men with his or her problems because it eliminates competition between the working class, promotes gender equality and provides an equal and a fair justice system.

The main reason why socialism works better than capitalism is because it eliminates competition among people for survival. Sinclair mentions this key point as an advantage for socialism. Ostrinski describes the rising competition between people as “The workers were dependent upon a job to exist from day to day, and so they bid against each other.” We could see this competition thoroughly in Packingtown and within the story. Just as Sinclair mentions, socialism can break these rivalries among people and can bring back cooperation and unity among people. It can happen when socialism exists, where properties are communal or common within the society rather than under the control of the capitalists; when the salaries are higher for the common working class rather than diminished to increase the profits of capitalists. In a capitalist country, due to the low wages that the common people receive, most of them turn towards crimes like theft, murder, prostitution etc while socialism decreases such situations and promotes the community’s well being by increasing the wages. Thus, in a socialist country, an “average man can work up little as two hours a day” and still survive spending the rest of his or her time for personal interests.

Continually, socialism also decreases gender inequality in workplaces. It promotes females involving and earning a living. In the story, Marija and Ona find it difficult to find jobs when they lose one because of the fact that females get very fewer jobs in Packingtown compared to males. In a capitalist country, most of the private sectors don’t hire females for jobs because they are not as productive as males since they cannot do arduous labor that men does like in Packingtown factories and mills. For capitalists, hiring females doesn’t bring profit and thus they don’t hire them. We can see in Marija’s case that she turned to prostitution because she was not offered many jobs and lost her job more frequently. She turned to prostitution as an only way to survive. In a socialist country like in Denmark, people regardless of their gender are offered jobs with higher salaries and are treated equally.

Furthermore, socialism also promotes an equal and a fair justice system. In the novel, we could see that when Jurgis was in trial and in the court, the judge didn’t listen to what he had to say because he was a poor person and he didn’t have any money. The judge gave the verdict in favor of Conor because he had a lot of money and power. Conor was easily able to persuade the judge and thus sent Jurgis to jail. This happened because the top few people or capitalists like Conor had all the power and they controlled everything, the common working class (the most of the population) had no say in the matter. In a socialist country, everyone is treated equal and the justice is fair to all because all are at the same level and all of them will be having jobs with higher wages. There isn’t a rich and poor differentiation.

To summarize, socialism helps people by increasing their wages which promotes for their betterment and it is better than capitalism because socialism decreases competition between people, promotes gender equality and puts forth an equitable justice system for its people. Socialism can get rid of the capitalist wickedness and make people happier again. With socialism, people do not need to work arduous labor for 15 to 16 hours a day, females will be treated equal to men and will gain more jobs, and the people can look up to the justice system as trustworthy. Sinclair was right when he addressed socialism as a solution to the problems that people faced in Chicago.

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