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Upton Sinclair (1 Viewer)

Wookie

Senior Member
So I decided to read something written well before most of us were born. I'm blaming this forum for sparking the motivation.

I chose (lucked into) Upton Sinclair's The Jungle for my reintroduction to an area of literature that I have neglected since high school. I couldn't have chosen any better. I remember reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck in school, and although I enjoyed it, it did not have the impact on me that I feel this book would have. I'm sure it would have been a difficult read, but well worth the effort.

For those who haven't read The Jungle, it is extremely graphic in its depiction of the meat processing industry at the turn on the 20th century. I could have been assigned this in my US History class. Before reading this novel, I was unaware of a large part of American history. I feel cheated that none of the history in The Jungle was covered in my education.

There is a story in this novel, an amazing one too. In another thread someone asked if anyone had come across a main character who had been completely undone. I feel that Jurgis (main character) can be added to that list. The best description I can give of this poor sob is that he's an anti-Forrest Gump. He's naive and foolish 90% of the time, but when he lucks into good circumstances, he detonates in splendid fashion.

Hmm, I'm doing more of a review, and that's not what I'm supposed to do. Has anyone read the novel? Some possible areas for discussion:

The American dream that was experienced by these immigrants.

Even I have to concede the novel makes a strong case for vegetarianism. That topic is covered in another thread however. :lol:

Comparisons to other novels that can be considered historically accurate.

Anyone not like The Jungle?
 

Beatrice Boyle

Senior Member
Hi Wookie...you made my poor heart sing, when you credit this forum for re-awakening your interest in literature and embarked on that journey...That was exactly why this forum was created...hallaujah!!

I only hope others will follow! (From your lips...to God's ear!) :lol: [-o<
 
I read a few of the...erm...less-than-appetizing parts of the jungle (exerpts in a history class). I'm really interested in reading the book, but, God, it made me never want to eat meat again!!!!

How do oyu feel about meat-processing after reading the whole book? I'm sure its not like that anymore...but you never know...

And still, how disgusting.

Nevertheless, I'm really interested in reading it, and now that I saw your good review I think I'll start as soon as I can.
 

LoneWolf

Senior Member
I had to read that book a few months back from AP US History. At first I was like, Ugh, what a boring book, but after I read it all, I was amazed. Though graphic, it paints a very true and sad picture. Loved the book, one of my all time favorites now!

starrwriter said:
We're going backward to the days before The Jungle sounded a warning bell.

That's very scary, but I can see that you're right...
 

Achilles

Senior Member
I know I few people who have read it. Most of them said it was incredibly gorey and they learned nothing from it. All the more reason for me to want to read it and learn something from it. It's on my reading list, and I'll get around to reading it sometime.
 

LoneWolf

Senior Member
I used to love hotdogs when I was a kid, but now I never eat them. Trying to cut back on the moo-cow too. I did an article about Mad Cow Disease a while back. People are always like, oh, that'll never happen here, blah blah, but it can happen anywhere. Moo-cows are scary. They carry all kinds of diseases.

I watched this show once about how in Wisconsin cow feces filled with a powerful bacteria washed into the water. The filtering couldn't kill it and it ended up in the drinking water, killing over 50 people.

The world just isn't the same...I don't trust the gov't anymore, and I'm still a kid!
 
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