Sinclair’s Views on Capitalism and Socialism in The Jungle
The Jungle, written by Upton Sinclair, displays to every reader the lurid reality of the meat packing industry in the twentieth century and investigates America’s capitalist system. In order to do so, accordingly, Sinclair researched and wrote about the meat packing plants’ in Chicago for over a year. The first-hand experience he received allowed him to see the dire straits the overworked and underpaid “slaves” were in. Upton Sinclair’s novel impacted many lives and changed the meat packing industries ways and works, by telling a story about a married couple living in this disorder. Upton uses his novel to persuade his readers to his views on socialism and capitalism. He said, “capitalism is immoral” and “socialism is the only solution to capitalism.” Throughout his novel, he demonstrates the horrors of capitalism and continuously backs his view up with facts and proved himself to be a socialist hero.
In the famous novel, the main characters are Jurgis Rudkus and his wife Ona Lukosazaite, who are both Lithuanian. Soon after moving to America, they were taken to Packingtown, a section in Chicago where the meat packing industry was the focus, in hopes to find jobs. Jurgis and Ona discover the truth behind everything in Packingtown. The workers were treated more like slaves than employees, working long days, losing limbs, getting infections and diseases, and getting diseased meat at an affordable price. The employees had no other choice than to stick around in these harsh conditions due to the decrease of jobs and the increase in prices. Sinclair’s infamous novel brought light to the situation and was one of the steps behind organizations like the USDA and OSHA. The conditions of the workers obviously changed drastically. In today’s time, workers must wear steel toed shoes, cut resistant aprons that are given to everyone, hard hats, knives with safety features, cut resistant gloves, and they are all taught how to reduce stress on their wrist, hands, legs, and back.
The cattle had been fed on “whiskey-malt,” which made the animal’s skin break out into boils like chicken pox. “It was a nasty job killing these, for when you plunged your knife into them, they would burst and splash foul-smelling stuff into your face.” At the time, they had a law that restricted the distribution of diseased meat out of state. The diseased meat was sold to employees at a reduced price. Considering the employees made dirt money, they had to take the deal or starve. After a month of this novel being on the shelves in stores, the White House started receiving “100 letters a day demanding a Federal cleanup of the meat industry.” And that’s exactly what President Theodore Roosevelt did. On June 30, 1906, Roosevelt signed the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. This required a member of the USDA (United Stated Department of Agriculture) to inspect any and all meat before and after being slaughtered and consumed by humans. Roosevelt also singed the Pure Food and Drug Act, this regulated food and drugs moving in interstate commerce and rejected the manufacture, sale, and transportation of poisonous patent medicines. Upton Sinclair’s novel brought so much more under the spotlight. The novel explains throughout the story of the couple that capitalism allowed harsh and unjust actions. Capitalism created a world wind of gender inequality, especially in places of work. Women in the twentieth century struggled more than ever to find a job that payed enough to afford their needs. Due to the lack of employment, women turned to prostitution and petty crimes. In The Jungle, one of the characters, Marija, had a harder time in a capitalist country, like Chicago, because hiring women did not help capitalism. In The Jungle, Upton strongly portrays his strong disbeliefs on capitalism in the twentieth century. Sinclair believed that capitalism violated America’s essential morals and values; it also allowed many unjust actions.
Although capitalism did not have a place in Sinclair’s heart, socialism was a different story in his eyes. Sinclair believed that socialism was the one and only thing that could eliminate capitalism and all the horrors that followed it. Ostrinski described the increase in competition, “The workers were dependent upon a job to exist from day to day, and so they began to bid against each other.” Socialism wiped out competition between people for survival. Another reason socialism was better in Sinclair’s eyes was the fact it decreased the gender inequality. Women were encouraged to do more and learn more in a socialist country rather than a capitalist country. The novel also illustrates that socialism promotes a more equal and fair justice system. This was shown when Jurgis went on trial, the judge didn’t listen to Jurgis’ defense because he was poor and didn’t have any money, he chose to listen to Conor because he had more money and more power than Jurgis ever thought about having. Conor had an easy time persuading the judge against Jurgis and he was sent to jail. In a capitalist country the capitalists had the power while the common working class held no power making it easy for Jurgis to receive an unfair trial. In a socialist country, this was not an issue because everyone was held on the same level; there was not a rich and a poor because everyone had the same pays and job offers.
In conclusion, Upton Sinclair changed many people’s views on capitalism versus socialism. Instead of letting people live in the dark while wealthy people got away with many unjust lifestyles, he stood up for himself and the people who had the great misfortune of living in a country overran by capitalist. He shed a bright spotlight on all of the horrific things like, the way cattle were handled very poorly. The workers were treated more like slaves rather than employees, they were forced to work in harsh conditions and even had missing limbs due to their capitalist country. Women were led to prostitution and petty crimes due to the gender inequality that the capitalists created because they cared more about their own wealth rather than their own neighbors. The poor people that got sent to trial were treated very unfairly compared to the wealthy people, once again, this was due to capitalism. Maybe, even our country has a bit of capitalist lingering around in the shadows, but it is nowhere close to being as harsh as it was for people living in the twentieth century. The main person we must thank for that is the socialist hero, Upton Sinclair. Due to his amazing novel, we have less inequalities now. If only there were more people today that lived up to Upton Sinclair’s heroism, we could have a greater America.
The Analysis Of The Book “The Jungle” By Upton Sinclair
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is about a Lithuanian family led by Jurgis. Jurgis and his family move to America in search of the American Dream. They moved to Chicago with only a few dollars. They had no jobs. Jurgis was a large and strong man. This made it easier for him to find work. He was hired by a meat packing company. He received a mere seventeen cents an hour.
On top of his ridiculous wage, working conditions were horrible. He felt these conditions exploited workers. There was a huge lack of sanitation. There were, “Rats running on the meat.” There were humans who fell in the meat chutes and were left there to process with the cow and pig meat. Everyone turned their heads as if nothing happened. This was probably partially if not mostly in fear of being fired and having to try and find work elsewhere. Before long, Jurgis’ optimistic views were shattered, and he realized it is very hard to get ahead in America. Soon the whole family was forced to work. Jurgis and Ona finally get married, but the wedding puts the family further and further into debt. They learn from a neighbor they have to pay interest on the house each month. Ona is forced to find work. Working conditions continue to get worst. Jurgis begins making less and less money.
Ona and Jurgis have a child. Jurgis hurts his ankle and is unable to work. This puts even more stress on the family. Jurgis finds a job in the fertilizer factory. He starts drinking because of how bad the conditions are. Ona becomes pregnant, again. She begins not coming home and when Jurgis investigates, she admits she is having an affair with her boss to save the family. Jurgis confronts Ona’s boss. They get into a confrontation and Jurgis bites his cheek. This lands him in jail. At the Jurgis’ hearing, Ona’s boss denies his involvement with Ona, and Jurgis must serve thirty days in jail. When Jurgis gets out, he returns home to find it painted a different color and another family living in their home. Jurgis goes to a friend’s house and discovers Ona is in labor two months early. Ona and their newborn die before the midwife arrive.
Jurgis’ struggle to find work increases because now he has been blacklisted by the bosses. He starts drinking again. He bounces from working at a machine shop, then a steel shop, and then he runs off and becomes a wanderer who bounces from place to place. He returns to the city and finds a job digging runnels. He gets hurt and returns to the life of begging. Jurgis meets a wealthy young man who feeds him and gives him a hundred-dollar bill. Jurgis tries to cash the money in and is swindled by a bartender. He is thrown in jail, again. When he gets out on bail, he meets a man named Dwayne. Jurgis enters the world of crime in Chicago by mugging people.
Jurgis is recruited by democrats for a strategic job to help get a republican candidate elected. They tell Jurgis to campaign in Packingtown. It works! The Republican candidate wins. During a worker’s strike, Jurgis uses this opportunity to advance himself to a boss position. Jurgis soon runs into Ona’s old boss and beats him. Jurgis ends up in jail, again. Jurgis’ friend bails him out, and Jurgis runs away. He returns to the life of begging. An old friend tells Jurgis where Maria is, and Jurgis discovers she is prostituting to support the family.
Maria’s home is raided, and they all go to jail. Jurgis get out of jail and goes to a socialist meeting. Jurgis is inspired by the speaker and believes socialism will improve working conditions and lead to a happy life. He soon learned people cared more about the meet packing atrocities than the exploitation of the workers. He finds a job at a hotel. He becomes more and more involved with the socialist movement. The socialist leaders are hopeful their influence will continue to grow, especially in Chicago.
A Question Of The Validity Of The American Dream In The Jungle Novel
The book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is a story about an immigrant Lithuanian family come to America to follow the American Dream. The center of the story revolves around Jurgis Rudkus, who came to America with inspiration and the idea that jobs were plentiful, freedom was free, and the whole world was his oyster. Recently married, Jurgis gets a job in Chicago, Illinois, the meat packing hub of the nation. Soon he begins to discover that his fantasies of living in America are far from coming true. He is continually put out of a job, scammed by Englishmen, taken advantage of, and treated like scum. He undergoes many hardships that multiple times leave him homeless, starving, penniless, and sometimes in jail. He occasionally forced to do things out of desperation that are completely against his values such as fighting, stealing, and allowing a family member to prostitute herself. Also, many times he finds himself in the face of death. Whether it’s the loss of his wife and children, or he himself is dealing with his own mortality, death plays a role as a constant fear and driving factor, yet also a sweet relief from the world of pain and suffering. Through his struggles we see what it was truly like for the average man living in America during this time and we get a glimpse at the everyday hardships they had to face.
The biggest theme examined is getting a true glimpse of America. Through Jurgis’ eyes we get to see the true immigrant experience and the fabrication of the American dream. In the very beginning, when told of all the greatness he could achieve in America, Jurgis is beyond excited to go. Even while watching the pigs be slaughtered and cut up (a metaphor for their own lives), every last inch of them being used up to serve capitalism, Jurgis doesn’t see the darkness soon to come. He trusted in the American dream, he didn’t see how it could be just a sham, and he had thought “that this whole huge establishment had taken him under its protection, and had become responsible for his welfare” . The
truth about it all was the complete opposite, however. The truth was that capitalism lived to serve those on top, those with the power. He and all the other immigrants and lowly wage-slaves would never get a chance to experience this so called protection, for the machine would just use all of his energy and life force, grinding as much use from him like its pigs. In the process of truly discovering what America was like he would constantly be told to work harder and faster, the women in his family would be sexually taken advantage of by those in power, and even while trying his hardest he’d always be subject to losing his job. Though we didn’t get much of a glimpse of Jurgis’ life before he came to America, it make the reader wonder whether or not he would’ve fared better in his own country. In his own country he was struggling, he had little money but worked hard. Though he wasn’t free, he never mentioned that he ever had to undergo starvation and homelessness living in his own country. What he’d been told about America seems to be a lie. This was the true America that he lived in, not the fairytale he had been told.
Another major theme is that of power and corruption, and how the author believes that socialism is the end to it. It appeared that those in power were only in power because they were corrupt, and those who actually worked hard, kept to themselves, and tried to be an honest man were always stuck at the very bottom. Upton Sinclair stated that this was because, even though the amount of wage-slaves far exceeded that of their superiors, the wage-slaves were not “class conscious”. He said that the proletariat, the lower class of slaves to the capitalist class, were “a thousand and one in numbers, but they were ignorant and helpless, they would remain at the mercy of their exploiters until they were organized” . This divide between the powerful and the powerless raises the question of how to overcome it? How does one feel at peace in a world with no upward mobility, where the powerful maintain complete control over your life and you have nowhere to go and nothing to do but stay a slave of the system? The entire system is flawed, he argues in the book. Those running the country, the politicians, the judges, the police, and the businessmen, they are all corrupt and trying to maintain their power by keeping those like Jurgis down. There is no way for anyone in poverty to obtain any sort of power that those above him have without becoming corrupt himself. For example, when Jurgis sells out his union during their strike in order to become a boss in the factory, or when he rigs elections for the high and mighty politicians. This common theme of power and corruption argues that all power leads to corruption absolutely, and Upton Sinclair believes that socialism is the only end to this sort of corruption.
On the other end of the spectrum from all the depression and depravity, there stands alone one thing to get them through all of it. This is the theme of family. Family plays a big role originally in Jurgis’ life. He comes to America with a huge group of family members, both extended and immediate, and refuses to separate from them during all of their hardships. For the most part they stay together, the support each other. While Marija is busy saving for her wedding, she’s more than willing to dip into those savings to support the family when they hit a rough patch. The women and children, despite protests from the men of the family, are also happy to work contribute. Through most of the novel, it is rare that any of them desert their family. Jurgis, however, does end up deserting the family. Originally, it was against his will when he is locked in prison for fighting Ona’s boss, but after the loss of his wife and his children, it becomes more permanent and deliberate. This furthers the argument that capitalism is evil. Capitalism is seen as a force that could break apart even the strongest of familial bonds and obligations. In the end, however, Jurgis is able to work up the nerve to go home and the family welcomes him back with open arms, despite him abandoning them in a time of need. And through socialism, the future of the family becomes bright in the end, with somewhat of a future ahead of them declaring “Chicago will be ours!” .
Upton Sinclair’s story forces us to question the validity of the American dream, whether or not it is worth all the blood, sweat, and tears to achieve it. He made us realize, through The Jungle, that even the hardest working men and even the most deserving of men don’t even attain it in their lifetime. His perspective of living during the Industrial Revolution teaches us the truth that we don’t always learn in our American history classes. While we are taught that it is a period of economic growth, abundant jobs, and American triumph, we rarely get to see those who had to be left behind and buried in order to make it happen. It shows the true spirit of the working man and can even be related to a lot of the struggles they come to face even today.
Main Ideas Of Heart of Darkness By Joseph Conrad
The Jungle is significant in the heart of darkness because of its symbolic representation of the white man’s lack of absolute control. It is personified to be something of an isolationist. “All along the formless coast bordered by dangerous surf, as if Nature herself had tried to ward off intruders” making nature seem unwelcoming of people, especially foreigners, while also alluding to the assumption that it is something uncontrollable, even by the most civilized of men, bringing them to question their totalitarian belief that they could simply parade into a country and rule unopposed as gods. “Could we handle that dumb thing, or would it handle us?” This was one of the only points in the novel in which they may have doubted their ability to rule, showing the ultimate power of the jungle and mother nature, and the fallibility of european conquest.
Kurtz’s significance is held in his representation of the inconsistency in both sanity and civilized mannerisms as well as the ever-present greed traditionally seen in colonial culture. He began to drive into insanity once made a virtual god by the natives. This was due to the abundance of greed seen in Kurtz. It was in fact so evident that Marlow describes Kurtz in chapter two using “powers of darkness have claimed him for their own,” showing how the immense power bestowed upon Kurtz not only affected him, but changed him. “The wastes of his weary brain were haunted by shadowy images now – images of wealth and fame revolving obsequiously round his unextinguishable gift of noble and lofty expression,” in chapter three is used to represent Kurtz’s progression into insanity. This begs the question as to who is in fact more civilized, and does being European automatically ensure sanity? Kurtz turns that answer into a resounding “no,” representing not only Marlow’s, but Conrad’s critique of European imperialism.
Madness holds significance in its representation of the sub-surface issues held in maintaining the facade of “civilized” colonial culture. “He was very anxious for me to kill somebody, but there wasn’t the shadow of a carrier near. I remembered the old doctor—’It would be interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals, on the spot.’ I felt I was becoming scientifically interesting.” is demonstrative of the twisted mannerisms to which the Europeans we succumbing. The moment in which he recognizes his own scientific interest shows the severity of the change occurring in not only his mind, but the mind of other white imperialists, making it apparent that abnormality isn’t something that is solely in the confines of “savages.”
Cannibals are significant because they surprisingly show vividly the humanity in which the natives possess. Their usage of restraint in not eating the foreigners demonstrates just how civilized someone so “savage” could be. “Why in the name of all the gnawing devils of hunger they didn’t go for us – they were thirty to five – and have a good tuck in for once, amazes me now when I think of it,” shows this restraint at an incredibly personal level, being that their most readily available source of food were the Europeans. Marlow describes them as an “improved specimen,” begging the question of who really is the most or least civilized. The natives were able to change a vital part of their life and culture to accommodate strangers, but the Europeans were not willing to do the same, that is, halting their mindless conquest of other cultures. The Cannibal’s restraint allows the reader to begin see the fallibility of the colonized, greed driven “civilization” that the Europeans have created, and without this interaction, the lack of raw humanity in Europeans, and the present humanity in natives would not be so apparent.
The Congo River is significant in that it is the purest, unadulterated element of nature throughout the book. While Europeans are making an attempt to colonize the ends of the Earth, the river remains untouched, and also, untouchable. It is described in chapter two as “like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest,” showing the immense power which the river possessed. It is also described as being presumably prehistoric, untouchable, and trapped in time through, “everything you had known once—somewhere—far away—in another existence perhaps.” this was clearly something that the Europeans respected and sought to leave alone which is why it is significant. Amongst the abundance of conquest, one thing remained consistent, that being the river.
The Heart of Darkness at it’s core is European imperialism. In their mad dash towards universal conquest, “civilized” Europe often forgets to account for the humanity present in their contemporaries. The Heart of Darkness being Europe and it’s imperialistic principles are derived from the passage referring to the return of the white men to Europe and their gazing on the Thames River, “the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.” So whilst there may be some whisper of a racist intent to the Heart of Darkness as it may refer to native peoples in a seemingly negative light, this example from the text demonstrates that the novel in its entirety is a critique on imperialism.
The Themes Raised and Lessons Learned in the Jungle Book
Assignment #3 Insight
The Jungle book is one of the finest classics of the time, first the book, then the cartoon and now the movie has reached the top of the table of 2016. You may have read the book, watched the cartoon or the movie but the things you missed were the inspirations hidden in it. Reading the book or watching the cartoon didn’t made me realize of the inspirations as I was naïve at that time but after watching the movie twice, I then realized how the movie gained its popularity. There are a lot of lessons that are life learning. We should probably begin with it.
The first lesson learned from The Jungle book is don’t aspire to be someone that you are not. From a very young age all of us as a student are encouraged and guided to do many different things. Our teachers suggested us to take up engineering due to our abilities in Math but may be our parents had different hopes from us like we should end up being a businessman or a doctor. In life we may want to fit in with some people so badly that we try to change ourselves or try to convince those people that we all are the same. All of us has that desire to be able to connect to each other and to fit in with the people of our own tribe. However many of us try to fit in the group by pretending that we are someone that we are not.
Throughout the movie, Mowgli was on the search for his tribe whether that was the elephants, wolves, the bear or the Man. Part of the challenges of his search was trying to have the abilities or skills that an animal possess rather than a human. Mowgli was able to succeed one he stopped pretending being the animal and embraced being himself by which he was able to defeat the tiger Shere Khan.
Your true friends will always have your back. It doesn’t matter how many people you meet in a lifetime, there will always just be a few ones who will always support you no matter what. Mowgli had several loved ones who did their absolute best to protect him and help him throughout his journey. In the movie Mowgli was threatened by Sher Khan that he would find him and kill once the water truce have ended. Bagheera, the panther was there for Mowgli when he needed him the most which was when Shere Khan attacked Mowgli before getting to the man’s village. We should always appreciate these types of people in our life. These are the people that will not abandon their friend, they genuinely wants the best for us, they will protect and support us and will steer clear the people who seem untrustworthy or bad situations. In life our goal is to find these types of friends whom we can trust and count on how bad the situation is.
Be careful who you trust. In the movie Kaa, the snake desires to eat Mowgli luring him in promising to keep in safe, she hypnotizes him and revels that how he came to live in the jungle when Shere Khan killed his father as they were travelling among the villages and Bagheera found him. During her story telling she attempts to devour him but Baloo spots and rescues Mowgli from her coil denying her of her meal. In the real world there may be people in life who seem trustworthy, who actually end up being snakes in the end. Some of these people may try to get close to you right away or promise you things that seem too good to be true. Be wary of someone who seems too interested in getting close to you right away. This may come in the form of someone trying to sale you something that feels too good to be true. We should be looking out for the red flags. Often times detecting someone who is untrustworthy is as easy as being aware of red flags and looking out for the warning signs by understanding the situation what they want in return.
Face your fears, the most important lesson learnt from The Jungle book. Mowgli faced his fear of the tiger Shere Khan. He built up the courage to save his friend Baloo by tying a burning tree branch to Shere Khan’s tail. This caused Shere Khan to run away in fear and Mowgli emerged successful. Like Mowgli we sometimes need to avoid our fears. This can help us to lead a mediocre life. When we face our fears we empower ourselves and gain confidence with each fear we conquer.
I myself had this fear of being ridiculed at the gym for being skinny, by which I didn’t attended one. My friend motivated me and explained the benefits of working out at the gym and that everyone at the gym was once a beginner too. Persuaded by a friend help me to face my fear of getting ridiculed at the gym and now I works out 4 days a week at a gym and love every minute of it.
‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
As you can see missing out such inspirational piece of elements in a 2 hour movie is so much easy, it’s only possible to get these inspiration if you only choose to focus on it. Insights are never easy to be gained, I myself watched this movie twice to get the inspiration out of it. It just that Insights are everywhere you have to just be ready to pick them up from the events. So basically getting insight from somewhere is your own responsibility.
Analyzing Daisy Miller and the Beast in the Jungle: Were They Satisfied?
In the works of Daisy Miller and The Beast in the Jungle, author Henry James provides readers with multiple explanations as to why it is important for one to live a full life. These two novellas share many broad similarities, including central thematic focuses, a flawed main character, and a hamartia that makes the stories truly tragic. Both stories warn of the dangers of distraction from enjoying one’s life. However, while general traits are shared, certain topics sharply contrast one another, specifically the role of love in life, as well as the role of a supporting female character in the protagonist’s downfall. Though some drastically opposing elements exist between the two stories, the central story of a man’s downfall into an unfulfilled life remains constant.
Both Daisy Miller and The Beast in the Jungle share strikingly similar protagonists. In Daisy Miller, Winterbourne is a man living abroad who makes the acquaintance of young Daisy Miller. Immediately intrigued, Winterbourne becomes obsessive about Daisy, both in infatuation and in judgment. As Daisy goes on to galavant around Rome, Winterbourne judges her every carefree decision, all the while seeking her love. By entangling himself in this ultimately futile drama and unsuccessfully trying to define Daisy, he has wasted his precious time with obsession. Quite similar is the character of John Marcher in The Beast in the Jungle. Marcher is a man living with a lingering fear of a “beast in the jungle”, that is, a future event that will likely traumatize him but ultimately give his life meaning. As his life progresses without facing the beast, Marcher’s fear grows to consume his mind. He becomes so obsessed that even when he grows old, he still has nothing to show for himself. Ultimately, the obsessive perspectives of both characters cause their downfalls.
From these shared protagonists comes the mutual theme of the undeniable sadness of life not properly lived. In Daisy Miller, Winterbourne develops an obsession with interpreting the ambiguous character of Daisy. He continually tries to define her and place her into his preconceived structure of different classes of women. However, Daisy is unique and hard to pin down. As she continues to live her life exactly as she pleases, Winterbourne sacrifices his own life for his love of Daisy. After the two reunite in Rome, there is a melancholic tone, as Winterbourne must come to terms with Daisy enjoying the company of numerous men other than himself. With love unreciprocated, Winterbourne has nothing to show for his obsession but the sadness of a life distracted.
The Beast in the Jungle also explores this theme in the life of John Marcher. Marcher is fixated on the lingering beast that could forever change him, so much so that it inhibits him from living a normal life. For example, Marcher never marries lifelong companion May Bartram. Though she loves him with the utmost loyalty, he is too focused on looming doom for love. As he reaches the end of his life and the perceived beast has yet to strike, Marcher acknowledges that he truly has accomplished nothing in his life. Distraction has vacuumed the enjoyment from Marcher’s life, leaving nothing but regret.
A secondary theme that can be identified in both texts is fate exacerbating failure. James seems to explore the maxim, “When it rains, it pours,” creating even more disappointing lives than those created by the protagonists themselves. The conclusion of Daisy Miller finds Winterbourne not only remorseful of his time trying to define Daisy, but also mourning the death of his love. Before Daisy died, she wrote Winterbourne to tell him that his opinion of her did matter, opening the vague possibility of reciprocated love. However, with her passing, the futility of Winterbourne’s obsession truly reared its ugly head. Not only did she never return his love, but his efforts to tame her reckless behavior proved ineffectual: she died of malaria contracted during a late-night outing at the Coliseum. The fate of Daisy’s death transformed Winterbourne’s waste of time into a complete failure in his life.
Likewise, The Beast in the Jungle concludes with an anagnorisis for Marcher. As Marcher grows old, he begins to recognize the lack of meaning in his life, primarily due to his fixation on the beast. This realization comes from May stating that his beast has already come and gone; though Marcher cannot identify the beast, he has suffered its terror nonetheless. This growing awareness finally climaxes with May’s death, when Marcher finally understands why his life lacked meaning. Marcher realizes that his lack of love, specifically with May, deprived him of fulfillment. His preoccupation with the beast actually created the beast, that is, the failure to recognize and reciprocate love. The fate of May’s death intensifies the failure and worthlessness that Marcher feels, finally grasping his wasted life and the true beast.
While these broader concepts connect these novellas, their approaches to love are vastly different. Daisy Miller proves just how detrimental infatuation can become in a man’s life. With Daisy passing and nothing to show for himself, Winterbourne has fallen victim to his all-consuming love. This emotion creates an obsession that leads him astray from a life of enjoyment. However, in The Beast in the Jungle, the protagonist’s downfall lies in a lack of love. His failure to express love and enjoy the company of May deprived his life of meaning. Marcher grows old, lonely, and unfulfilled, until he finally comprehends his state is the result of a lack of love. In one text, James shows how love can destroy life, while in the other, he proves that love is necessary for fulfillment.
A similar contrasting element in these stories is the role of the female supporting character. In Daisy Miller, Winterbourne becomes mentally tethered to Daisy. Wherever she moves about, Winterbourne follows to love and observe her. Daisy is the fatal distraction that keeps Winterbourne from enjoying is life. This supporting character serves to generate the downfall of the protagonist. In contrast is The Beast in the Jungle, where May is the only part of Marcher’s life that does not consume him with thoughts of the beast. May is wiser than Marcher, and essentially his only hope for being saved. Unfortunately, Marcher’s inner demons prove stronger than May’s will, and he cannot be saved from his preoccupation with the beast. Though unsuccessful, May serves as a beacon of normalcy in Marcher’s paranoid world. This is far different from the mental disaster-generating character of Daisy.
In both novellas, James raises existential questions about life and love. Both works argue for the importance of a life of fulfillment, telling cautionary tales of those with wasted opportunities and nothing but sadness. However, the works provide opposing arguments for the role of love and companionship in life’s fulfillment. While Daisy Miller proves love to be the demise of Winterbourne in the form of Daisy, The Beast in the Jungle uses May to exemplify how vital love is to an accomplished life. Despite these differences in his works, James clearly identifies the troubled fate of those who obsess with everything but life itself.
Determinism, Love, and Motivation in ‘The Beast in the Jungle’
Henry James is considered the master of subtle psychological fiction, and in The Beast in the Jungle he demonstrates the powerful extent in which determinism can reach and bar an individual from any consideration of free will. This situation will be especially probable if such an individual were to be as self-absorbed as the protagonist, John Marcher.
Determinism is a doctrine by which philosophers imply that people are ultimately victims of fate. Something as powerful as life cannot be altered, and this is the philosophy which Marcher has adopted in correlation with the romanticized fate he has led himself to believe as a result of his egotism. Marcher places himself on a pedestal which his own conceited mind has built, believing that he stands out among other ordinary human beings as a heroic figure who is “destined” for “something rare and strange, possibly prodigious and terrible”. He calls this self-made prophecy of his as the “crouching Beast in the jungle,” awaiting the moment to pounce on Marcher and “slay him or “be slain.”
Marcher believes that the Beast is something which will come to him in due time, and is not something which he should trigger to change his life in any way. The idea of fate causing a drastic turn in one’s life carries a much more fairy-tale appeal rather than an individual prompting the change himself. Determinism therefore criticizes the American Dream: the notion that a person can achieve absolutely anything with passion and perseverance, fundamentally, at his own will.
With this belief, Marcher determinedly sets his life on the course of waiting for the Beast – relinquishing all ideas of actually initiating some kind of action and excitement to his life on his own. This principle of endless waiting for fate and destiny to enforce some thrilling, irrevocable event has even induced May Bartram to wait and watch for the Beast by Marcher’s side. Although Marcher tries his best to think for May’s well-being, such as refusing to marry her on the basis that the Beast’s imminent attack would be too great a burden for a lady to bear, he still continues to be self-centered.
It is Marcher’s love for himself that has conjured up the idea of the Beast and therefore centering his whole life entirely upon its mystery. Even when May falls gravely ill and is near death, Marcher continues to put himself and his obsession with the Beast before May’s well-being; asking May of what she supposed the Beast might be despite her weak health. Marcher also continues to form a conversation regarding the Beast and his personal welfare during this visit – showing vague interest in May’s poor health.
On the other hand, May’s love is the opposite of Marcher’s. It is selfless, and with it, she has been able to study and observe Marcher’s personality and countenance from a distance throughout the years of their friendship. She too, waits and does nothing to instigate any form of action into Marcher’s life so that he may be satisfied with his Beast theory. By loving Marcher selflessly, May does not intervene in his mental adventure of waiting in any way. Therefore, she never confesses her feelings for him because in her perspective, the Beast has always been the love that could blossom between her and Marcher.
It appears that May understands Marcher’s vain belief of the Beast very well – to the point that she would sacrifice her desire of forming a relationship with him, for the sake of Marcher’s revelation of what the Beast truly is: an intimate, loving relationship with May. May understands that the Beast, to Marcher, has always been a form of inspiration. Inspiration is not something one can grasp upon will. Artists, who are the primary seekers and wielders of inspiration, often wait for it to come, knowing that it is something that cannot be controlled or gained in spite of one’s hard efforts. Some artists argue that inspiration is greater than anything else, even life itself, as it constitutes as a driving force for an artist to produce a piece of art that satisfies the soul. Similarly, Marcher’s Beast is his inspiration to live through a tremendous sequence of waiting, and May, who understands this and believes that the Beast is their love for each other, chooses to remain silent regarding her opinion of what the Beast is simply because inspiration should be a knowledge acquired naturally rather than by force. May therefore avoids from inflicting any change to Marcher’s waiting by keeping her feelings a secret. Marcher however, is unable to connect the Beast with love until after May’s death: but clearly by then, the knowledge is futile.
With May’s death, Marcher is overwhelmed with a great sense of abandonment. He has lost his inspiration but does not fully realize this or the fact that May had been something of far greater importance and influence on his life other than merely sharing and accepting his secret of the Beast. In the last paragraph, Marcher finally realizes that the Beast certainly had come, in the form of May Bartram approaching him despite being pale and ill, and urged him to “imaginably guess” what the Beast might be. He realizes, finally, that “the escape” from the endless waiting “would have been to love her; then, then he would have lived. She had lived – … since she had loved him for himself; whereas he had never thought of her…but in the chill of his egotism and the light of her use.”
Now, however, the Beast appears to him in the form of regret – the regret of having done nothing for himself, to have not acted upon his own life, and to have allowed love, life and opportunity to pass by. Marcher has failed to live his life, and believes that “it wouldn’t have been failure to be bankrupt, dishonored, pillared, hanged; it was failure not to be anything” – and evidently, by following the path of determinism to such an extent, with self-love blinding him from seeing vital possibilities, Marcher has indeed been: “nothing.”
Interpretation and the Meaning Behind New Trailer for the Jungle Book
The ad that I used was the new trailer for The Jungle Book. I chose this ad because it was the most recent ad that I saw. This trailer sold me, the instant I watched the video. First reason why is because at the beginning of the trailer you see Mowgli run across the branches in a tree that I remember seeing in the animated cartoon version of the second Jungle Book.
Clearly this trailer is trying to sell the real life version of The Jungle Book, and it is doing a very good job. I believe that there is going to be talking animals in the movie. From my point of view the trailer shows signs of animals talking when the video starts of. Scarlett Johansson plays Kaa the snake. At the beginning of the movie you hear her talking and suddenly the screen goes to a humongous snake talking. At this moment is when I started to get curious about if the animals were really going to talk in the movie just like the animated Disney movie. When I saw Bill Murray playing Baloo I instantly knew I needed see the movie the instant it came out. Another instance of when the credibility became a problem was at the end of the trailer where Baloo is whistling in the river. It almost leads you to wonder what is going on in the director’s head. Was he always a fan of Disney to where he meant to make sure everything in the real life version was exactly as the animated? It all ranges as a mystery.
I knew the talking animals would exaggerate the movie when I saw Bagheera fighting with Shere Khan. In the animated form I do not remember that happening, but of course, when do movies ever come close to the original? I just know that, this trailer absolutely sold me to the moon and back. Another qualification that happened in this trailer was the scare tactic that happened between King Louie and Mowgli. In the animated version Mowgli was almost the same size as King Louie. However, in the real life version King Louie looks to be a giant orangutan compared to little Mowgli.
Muckrakers: Differing Styles in Upton Sinclair and Eric Schlosser
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser are two extremely different books about the same topic: the American food industry. Paired excerpts explore the behind-the-scenes work that goes into processed food and how the industries mislead or deceive the public. However, the authors’ presentations of the industry and messages are so different from one another as to make them unrelated on all levels except for the topic.
Sinclair, a 19th century journalist for a social newspaper, was examining working conditions in Chicago stockyards when he was inspired to write his book. Under the disguise of fiction, he reveals the various disturbing means used by the Chicago meat-packing industry to create canned foods. Bringing up every element of a can of deviled ham from beef tripe to cow gullets, Sinclair spares no nauseating detail in strangely matter-of-fact descriptions like, “It was a nasty job killing these, for when you plunged your knife into them they would burst and splash foul-smelling stuff into your face; and when a man’s sleeves were smeared in blood, and his hands steeped in it, how was he ever to wipe his face, or to clear his eyes so that he could see?” (Sinclair 352). These repulsive details are employed very intentionally to upset the reader and send the author’s message. Sinclair even goes as far as to claim that some of the factory’s products had “killed several times as many United States soldiers as all the bullets of the Spaniards” (Sinclair 352).
The book being released only eight years after the Spanish-American War, lines like these make it unsurprising that The Jungle was shunned by all of the publishers the author sought. Sinclair wasn’t content with describing every sickening detail about the ingredients in canned meat—he also completed his original purpose, which was to evaluate working conditions. He mentions a shocking variety of ailments prevalent in meat factory workers, from rheumatism to butchered hands to tuberculosis to falling into enormous vats. Regarding the latter, Sinclair concludes with the sickening assertion that workers who came to such a fate were often not found until “all but the bones of them had gone out to the world as Durham’s Pure Leaflard!” (Sinclair 355). Through describing the working conditions and contents of its products, the author thoroughly and completely expresses his disapprobation for the meat-packing industry in this dark and persuasive novel.
At times offering a cheery contrast to Sinclair’s revolting description of 19th century meat packing, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser provides insight into, among other topics, the chemistry behind engineered flavors. As a journalist, Schlosser was permitted entrance to the main facility of International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), one of many facilities in the New Jersey industrial parks that he claims manufacture two-thirds of all the flavor additives that are sold in the United States. At first, the excerpt from his book seems like it must be building to some harsh, persuasive conclusion about the food industry, in lines such as, “…the manipulation of volatile chemicals to create a particular smell. The basic science behind the scent of your shaving cream is the same as that governing the flavor of your TV dinner” (Schlosser 361). At this point, Schlosser comes off as one of the countless authors who prey on the average American reader—the uninformed and gullible person who knows “volatile” to mean liable to sudden violence and who thinks “chemicals” to mean toxic compounds like arsenic and hydrogen cyanide, rather than knowing that a volatile chemical is a scientific class of liquids that includes such harmless ingredients as water and rubbing alcohol. Schlosser continues to expound on the formation of recognizable flavors, revealing that perfume companies created the first flavor additives and listing by, their full and lengthy names, all forty-nine ingredients in an artificial strawberry flavor. These and many other instances in the passage seem prime opportunities for the author to follow up an analysis with a powerful argument against the inventors, against the marketers, against the manufacturers, against something—but Schlosser proceeds in an unexpectedly non-confrontational tone. While he doesn’t take the care to list them out in another massive paragraph, he concedes that a the smell of a real strawberry is comprised by over 350 chemicals.
Although criticism of the industry is apparent upon examination of Schlosser’s diction and phrasing, it is generally veiled by his human error: his inability to remain critical of processes and research by which he is so impressed. He describes his sampling of an artificial flavor in the sentences, “Grainger’s most remarkable creation took me by surprise. After closing my eyes, I suddenly smelled a grilled hamburger. The aroma was uncanny, almost miraculous. It smelled like someone in the room was flipping burgers on a hot grill. But when I opened my eyes, there was just a narrow strip of white paper and a smiling flavorist” (Schlosser 368). Even if the author will decide to persuade against or denigrate the processed food industry in the rest of the book, the message this passage conveys is mostly informative and oddly reassuring.
Upton Sinclair, Jr’s, View of Struggle as Depicted in His Book, The Jungle
Welcome To The Jungle
Not once in The Jungle by Upton Sinclair does the author reference the title in the text, but the meaning of it is grounded deep in the writing. According to Merriam-Webster, a jungle is defined as “a confused or disordered mass of objects, something that baffles or frustrates by its tangled or complex character; a place of ruthless struggle for survival.” In the early nineteen-hundreds, the Packingtown area of Chicago embodies perfectly a jungle. The starvation, conditions, and sheer expanse of devastation demonstrate organized chaos at its peak while animalistic behavior tangles with physical needs in the filth of the Chicago stockyards. Sooner or later, this hunger catches up to many of the main characters and they turn to immoral activities in order to survive. Sinclair points at this with an abundance of metaphors which include personification and the breakdown of human choices into primal actions. In this book, the jungle is not a literal jungle, but yet a fight for survival on the capitalist pyramid.
When in the packing houses, Sinclair describes the pigs on their way to the slaughter almost eerily: “One could not stand and watch very long without being philosophical, without beginning to deal in symbols and similes, and to hear the hog-squeal of the universe…. Each of them had an individuality of his own, a will of his own, a hope and a heart’s desire; each was full of self-confidence, of self-importance, and a sense of dignity. And trusting and strong in faith he had gone about his business, the while a black shadow hung over him, and a horrid Fate in his pathway. Now suddenly it had swooped upon him, and had seized him by the leg. Relentless, remorseless, all his protests, his screams were nothing to it. It did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life” (Sinclair 31). The picture that Sinclair paints with these words is not one typical of a city life; instead, it reveals the true savagery and relentlessness of the people in Chicago and the city itself. This quote flawlessly takes the lives of the factory workers and condenses it into a few sentences, summarizing one thing: nothing is safe in this city. Jobs, money, a place to live, and even a life can be taken away at a moment’s notice. By taking this sense of constant fear and placing it on something as na?eve and innocent as a pig, Sinclair perfectly captures the emotions and feelings of those coming to America for the first time.
Sinclair also notes on these feral instincts in places outside of the packing houses: “Here was Durham’s, for instance, owned by a man who was trying to make as much money out of it as he could, and did not care in the least how he did it; and underneath him, ranged in ranks and grades like an army, were managers and superintendents and foremen, each one driving the man next below him and trying to squeeze out of him as much work as possible. And all the men of the same rank were pitted against each other; the accounts of each were kept separately, and every man lived in terror of losing his job, if another made a better record than he. So from top to bottom the place was simply a seething caldron of jealousies and hatreds; there was no loyalty or decency anywhere about it, there was no place in it where a man counted for anything against a dollar. And worse than there being no decency, there was not even any honesty. The reason for that? Who could say? It must have been old Durham in the beginning; it was a heritage which the self-made merchant had left to his son, along with his millions” (Sinclair 84). Even in something as simple as a store, the people are so desperate they can not afford to get behind or think of others. They cheat their way to the top because it is their obligation to survive, and even then they get nowhere. Necessities in life are not given to them, so they believe it is in their right to trick the system to get what they need. These people are desperate, and from that exudes the savagery that the jungle of Chicago is built upon.