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.
PADMA SHRI LAKSHMIKUTTY: GRANNY OF THE JUNGLE
Lakshmikutty Amma, the guardian of herbal medicines in the forest is finally honored with the highest civilian award Padma Shri on the Republic Day. The wonder woman – granny of the wild lives in the deep jungles of Ponmudi, almost fifty five kilometer north east of Thiruvananthapuram city. Over the decades, the granny of the wild has saved more than hundreds of lives with her shrewd knowledge of herbal medicines that she got from her forefathers though her mother was a midwife. Lakshmikutty Amma living alone in an isolated area in the deep forest, she can prepare over five hundred herbal medicines just out of her memory. Granny’s medicines saved thousands of victims of snake and insect bites, thus making her the beloved tribal woman in the area.
“Nature offers all remedies. Knowledge of herbal medicine was passed on to me from my mother. People come to me for treatment for snake poison and other insect bites. I treat all kinds of snake poison and insect bites”. “I can prepare about five hundred medicinal treatments from memory. Till now I have not forgotten them,” said Lakshmikutty. She never grows any particular medicinal plants for making medicines for snake and insect bites; she collects all medicinal ingredients from the forest. Tiger spider, Black scorpion, snakes, the sting of any of these dangerous creatures can turn human being mortal, but once the victim is brought to Lakshmikutty Amma, the lives is saved for sure.
Granny’s dream is to convert her hut into a small hospital. Even today, there is no proper road facility to her house, but in 1952 construction of the road was sanctioned by the government. But the work hasn’t started till now. “We have to travel many kilometers through the dense forest. There are so many wild animals including elephants. Hence, I request the government to do something about these kinds of problems”, she added. She also gives lectures at Folklore Academy and has authored many poems and articles. Interestingly an eighth-class dropout tribal woman is a good mentor and guide of hundreds of researchers of herbal medicines and related topics. She has travelled across all the states in South India to attend seminars on herbal and tribal medicines and to give lectures.
“My son died due to snake poison, so I obtain all the knowledge I could on it. When one is injected with any kind of poison it is important to suck it out at the earliest time, but we doesn’t have basic facilities especially no roads and no hospitals nearby, it is a dangerous issue in this village”, said Lakshmikutty. Speaking to a national news agency after receiving Padma Shri, she stated that “I feel happy that my country accepted me”. “The outer world has given me a lot, awards, honour and etc. But I want to stay here and to live in the forest”.
Immigrants in Upton Sinclair “s The Jungle Essay
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair was about Jurgis Rudku who was an immigrant from Lithuania that came to the United States to discover his dreams, hopes, and desires. He took his family to Chicago to start a modern life. He worked in meatpacking businesses that were unsanitary and brutal sum of hours that come about into starvation. He was abused and realized the American dream wasn’t as simple as it appeared. The book bargains with illness, starvation, debasement, wrongdoing, destitution and passing. “Leave it to me; take off it to me. I will win more cash – I will work harder.” This was said by Jurgis regularly since he and Ona continuously battled with cash and having a work but Jurgis never needed Ona to push almost those issues. Jurgis continuously took charge when it came to genuine choices since he knew he was the man and required to stand his ground. All through the book Jurgis continuously tells Ona that he will work harder, indeed on the off chance that he can’t physically work any longer since his body is as well tired. “In the end it was through a daily paper that he got a work, after about a month of seeking.” This appears the genuine battle of being an worker and having no involvement to discover a work. Jurgis had numerous occupations all through Chicago and they all weren’t simple to get, he had to battle for a spot. The lion’s share of the book took put in Chicago amid 1906. As I perused the Wilderness I saw from starting to conclusion the battle an migrant family went through and realized being in the genuine world is a parcel harder particularly in case you don’t have an instruction. The Wilderness is an American classic since of the part in took put in the Nourishment and Sedate Organization and made a distinction to all the laborers who worked in the meat pressing industry.
At the turn of the twentieth century “Muckraking” had gotten to be a exceptionally prevalent hone. This was where “muckrakers” would bring major issues to the public’s consideration. One of the most capable pieces done by a muckraker was the book “The Jungle”, by Upton Sinclair. The book was composed to appear the unpleasant working and living conditions in the pressing towns of Chicago, but what caused a major contention was the rottenness that was going into Americans meat. As Sinclair afterward said in an meet almost the book “I pointed at the public’s heart and by mischance hit them in the stomach. The meat pressing industry took no obligation for creating secure and sterile meat. One reason for this issue was that there was no genuine assessment of the meat. A cite from “The Jungle” tells of a government reviewer checking the swine’s for Tuberculosis, “This government auditor did not have a way of a man who was worked to passing; he was clearly not frequented by a fear that the hoard might get the attention has also been caused by the use of machines in the packing process. The industry uses fast running machines hence the employees are exposed to more injury risk. The industry is majorly comprised of immigrants and undocumented employees. This has greatly attracted attention due to the care for the employees who are mainly non-citizens (United States Department of Labor, 2010).
The circumstance has driven to a few labor organizations instructing the workers on security and wellbeing organization. For occurrence the Nebraska which is a wellbeing organization and word related security joined up with a Mexican Emissary, Jose Cuevas, to teach workers. The instruction was basically on the work environment security. The company, Word related, Security and Wellbeing Organization, (OSHA) was to supply preparing and oversight to the meat pressing and cleaning companies (OSHA Speedy take, 2010). OSHA has taken this move since there are no particular benchmarks for the meat pressing industry. These benchmarks laid by OSHA have been embraced by twenty-five states and this has driven to other states embracing measures pertinent to the subject mobilized by OSHA, the organization given for a few orders to empower the security inside the industry. The mandates pointed at directing distinctive angles in the industry which included; the modern meat tenderizing innovation in the meat industry, the cutting danger.
The Pure Food and Drug act also passed after the Meat inspection passed after the Meat assessment Act of 1906. The packers denied the charges and restricted the bills to no profit. These bills ensured the public’s right to secure clean meat. In conclusion it is self-evident to see that rights and obligations were not carried out by the meatpacking industry. They were ravenous driven commerce men who “poisoned for profit” as President Roosevelt said. The meat packers had a right to make their item but did not take the obligation to do it in a way that was secure to the customer. Much obliged to individuals like Upton Sinclair and Theodore Roosevelt, the meat industry nowadays takes the obligation to make a secure quality item of the open.
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.
Book Review of Upton Sinclair, Jr’s, The Jungle
In this essay I will be exploring ideas surrounding an “underworld” in The Jungle. The Jungle was written in 1906 by the American novelist, Upton Sinclair, in order to show the world the evils of the American capitalist system. Sinclair documents the journey of an immigrant Lithuanian family’s move to America, and later their realisation that they were hugely disillusioned by dreams of a financially stable life in a better country. From the outset of the novel, the notion of being dragged from happiness and hope down into an underworld of despair created by capitalism is present. The opening scene is that of a typical Lithuanian wedding, one of the few if not the only moments of pure happiness in the entire novel; Jurgis then leaves the inner city and journeys out to the country where he experiences strong nostalgia to his past life in his home country. This creates a significant juxtaposition between the lives of the characters in their current and dehumanising lives, and the escape back to a happier past. It is the well-established system of capitalism in the United States that form the “underworld” in the novel, in that it undermines the less wealthy members of the population by handing affluence to those who are already rich, leading to immense suffering and exploitation in a world of appalling conditions such as an excess of alcoholism and prostitution, child labour, crime and socio-political corruption. This “underworld” is kept concealed under the fast lifestyle of twentieth century America and the glamour of the American Dream, forcing those caught in the capitalist trap to be dishonest to survive, a vice that extends from the poorest people cheating others in competing for menial jobs all the way to salesmen lying about their wares and politicians buying the support, or votes, of their public. Throughout the novel this idea of transformation into a lesser being is portrayed, a type of dehumanisation where, in the “underworld”, men are transformed into machines to aid capitalism and create a larger profit. An example of this is Jurgis, whose initial stance for his work at the meatpacking factory is that of an honest, hard-working man, but he eventually resorts to drinking, crime and abandoning his family after being emotionally tortured; the moment of his dehumanisation is when he returns to the factory to knowingly work for corrupt men.
Throughout the novel, food is used to symbolise the evil side of the nature of capitalism, and is the lynchpin allowing the “underworld” to continue thriving. Fundamentally, food is something that nurtures the body and mind, and plays a significant role in family life such as the wedding scene at the opening of the book. The food in Packingtown is dangerous and toxic, and the cans of rotten meat neatly symbolise the corrupted American Dream; they have a shiny, silver exterior but contain a product not fit for consumption by humans. It is also important to note here that the passing of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 was motioned almost entirely due to the public reaction to the portrayal of meat processing in The Jungle. Citizens suddenly became aware that they were part of the “underworld” they may not have even known to exist, and pushed to reform those in power who have such obvious disregard for the fact that, because of their own greed and industrialism, their workforce was being forced to forage for food in unsanitary conditions.
From the point of view of an immigrant worker, in this case Jurgis, the meat packers appeared to be akin to fate, a capital engineered to destroy all opposition and, in turn, the everyday lives of citizens. An example of this is when Jurgis first entertains notions of socialism by stating that all those who are capitalists are “equivalent to fate”. Whilst Jurgis naturally believes these people to be the hand of fate that has ultimate control over his life, he later realises that as the capitalists are immoral in their dealings with other people, there is no difference between their dishonesty and the dishonesty of the workforce. It is important to note here that there was a significant amount more people in the workforce than those in capitalist power, enabling the disregarding of the hegemony that had established itself in the place of the American Dream. The quotation that capitalists are “equivalent to fate” also shows Jurgis’ political diversity; he is as receptive to the onset of socialism as he initially was to the capitalism he was greeted with upon his arrival in America. In addition, when Jurgis truly embraces socialism, it is introduced to the reader as a more desirable alternative to capitalism; socialism is portrayed as the antidote to repair the corruption in the “underworld” caused by capitalism.
Another significant point of interest is Sinclair’s choice of title for his novel; “The Jungle” suggests something more competitive than one may immediately expect, similar to the nature of America’s capitalist underworld itself. The powerful live off the impoverished, creating a harsh environment void of any moral grounding, akin to that of a “jungle” in the Darwinian sense. This notion extends into Social Darwinism, a school of thought that became popular in the mid-nineteenth century to justify a social system where capitalists abuse their control over those beneath them. As a concept in its own right, Social Darwinism rewarded those in power whilst oppressing those who were already caught in the trap of the capitalist “underworld”, never allowing them to escape and regain a good standing in society. Sinclair opposes this notion by portraying its devastating effects through a life story of honest people, whose family lives are destroyed by influences beyond their control; he delivers a strong underlying message that a capitalist society is the most corrupt that exists.
In conclusion, the “underworld” in The Jungle is the beneath layer of the corrupt American Dream, created by capitalism. The novel is designed to portray, relentlessly, that capitalism is solely to blame for the plight of the immigrant workers who are trapped in an underworld with an unrealistic faith of the glittering American Dream. America is very much portrayed as having two distinct societal layers, those who hold financial and political power, and then the “underworld” hidden beneath the deceptive exterior of twentieth century America, where capitalism’s effects reign over the lives of everyone. This underworld is shown to the general public for the first time in this book as they would have been, for the most part, unaware of the existence of the less pleasant side of their society. A young Lithuanian family is very gradually destroyed, and left at the mercy of a social system that delivers its prejudices by banishing the working class out of sight, into an underworld that exemplifies the cruel effects of capitalism on humans.
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.
Analyzing Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi Story as told in the Jungle book
Kipling’s “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” Essay
One of the most famous story in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling is the “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”, has also been published as a short book. Many people read it as the story of a heroic mongoose. But we can also interpret “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” from the angle of post colonialism, which the British family is the invader, the cobras are less villainous and Rikki-Tikki becomes a loyal colonial subject.
Rikki-Tikki is an Indian mongoose who was very appreciated the English family for saved him from drowning. Therefore he helped the human family to kill the snakes who was planning to kill them. From the traditional angle, I can tell that the mongoose represents the knight protecting his new family and the garden, all of which form his home. However, there still something else about the story, the characters and the meaning that we need to interpret. By reading Kipling’s short story from the angle of post colonialism, we can also discover Kipling’s view on imperialist culture.
Post colonialism is the period after colonialism, when the invaders had returned to their countries, left many great influence and new culture to the colonies. The British family in the story moved into a bungalow in India, where Nag and Nagaina – the snakes, were living. The white invaders brought their culture, took over the land and controlled everything. This is the reason why the snakes wanted to kill the human family and take back what belongs to them.
From my point of view, the human represent an enormous threat to the livelihood of the Indian cobras and their young. Nag and Nagaina desired to ambush the humans is merely the fulfillment of natural instinct. Think of the Indian snakes just want to protect their eggs and take back what belongs to them, they are less villainous if we see them from the angle of post colonialism. I can say that the cobras are metaphors for the Indian population and they wanted to stand up against the British invasion. The cobras desired to live and bear young was as great and all-consuming as was the English family’s need to live in relative safety, free from a slithering death they would never see coming.
Kipling builds Rikki’s heroism in the story form killing the evil cobras and saved the human family life. However, as I mentioned above, Nag and Nagaina just wanted to defend themselves and their young. The cobras were living at the garden first and they wanted to rule the garden, as they did until Rikki-Tikki came along. I can point out that Kipling created the reasoning skills and deliberately make the cobras so evil and make Rikki-Tikki so reasoning. In fact, animals are not so calculating. People can say that the cobras may just want to live but, by their nature, they are inimical to the human and Rikki is properly values. I would say this is unacceptable. For Instance, some Indian people are the same as Rikki-Tikki who were helped by English people. There will be people are the same as the cobras who want to against the British and protect their young. Rikki-Tikki did not distinguish between right and wrong, but he just wants to return the favor, even killing people of his country. From the angle of post colonialism, the mongoose loses the status of hero and becomes, instead, a loyal colonial subject.
In conclusion, The “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” is not only famous by the heroism but also by a deep sense of the author from the perspective of post colonialism and imperialist culture. Kipling has surprised us with three unexpected visions but by his own views and experiences.