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The Jungle, Literary Touchstone Edition Paperback – July 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
The appeal of home ownership quickly becomes their undoing. They invest their life savings as the downpayment and due to unplanned costs of homeownership (interest, taxes, repairs, etc), they quickly fall behind in their finances. This requires all family members to seek employment, which allows them to hold their heads above water. Unfortunately, the seasonal swings of work, ill health and brutal Chicago winters lead to further financial struggles.
A variety of further circumstances such as death, illness and infidelity lead to choices that continue to test the morals of the characters. Each struggle with the choices necessary for their survival. All are changed forever by the "evils" of the system.
The story details the horrific working conditions of the Stockyards laborers, the deplorable practices followed by the meat packing industry itself and the corruption associated with a capitalistic system. Yes, socialism is an underlying theme in this novel that becomes more evident at novel end.
Overall a very well written novel that provides a glimpse into the despicable conditions endured by the labor force of the Stockyards. No issues with the Kindle edition.
The repeated sufferings of Jurgis and his family are akin to an overwhelming symphony of sorrowful songs. As his family is driven deeper into debt, his body worn down, and his life's zeal and love slowly strangled, Jurgis' desperation becomes palpable, and if you can't sympathize with his feelings at the loss of his family's home--a structure they worked so hard for--check your pulse. You might be dead.
The book contains some of the most horrific depictions in all of literature, including a mercifully oblique reference to a child's death by being eaten alive by rats. Although the novel focuses on Jurgis primarily, it is the children--the laboring little people--who elicit the most sympathy in this reader's view. Struggling to support their family, escaping extremely dangerous situations (one little girl is nearly dragged into an alley and raped), sleeping on the street, and begging desperately for food--the appalling conditions being visited upon children as described in "The Jungle" still have the power to arouse strong anger and outrage, over a century after its initial publication.Read more ›
This book chronicles the life of immigrants from Lithuania who settle in Chicago in hopes of obtaining the American Dream. The way Sinclair describes the hardships of this family, it almost feels like you're the one who's suffering. Though depressing, the amount of detail engulfs the reader.
Though the book is famous for exposing the meat packing industry's unsanitary conditions, it really is just a minor part of this book. The worker's rights, the racism, the corruption, and the poverty is what this book is all about. Though I'm a firm believer of Adam Smith and his invisible hand, half way through the book, I was searching for the local Socialist recruiter. Well, not really, but it will open anyone's mind.
Except for the end, where it was just pure Socialist propoganda, this book is fantastic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want a reason to stop eating meat the jungle could be it! Great look into our industrial history and the struggles to survive in America at the turn of the century.Published 1 day ago by Karen Juhl
This is a must-read for anyone studying U.S. history at the turn of the twentieth century.Published 2 days ago by Robin L.
I would have given this book 5 stars because the author writes such a fantastic story that draws you in and disturbs your idle thoughts. Read morePublished 3 days ago by aanderson
As a novel, if none of the history described in the book had ever been true in real life, I'm not sure how well this book would have worked for me or most other readers. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jim Foley
I thought the book was tough to follow. And the last part of the book went off in a completely different direction.Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
Good historical book of Chicago packing town. Didn't realize it would get very politic at the end, but overall a good read.Published 1 month ago by Kimberly Clawson