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Muckraking V. Fiction In The Novel The Jungle

988 words - 4 pages

StephanieMs. OgarekMuckraking v. FictionWebster's dicctionary defines muckraking as, "To search out and publicly expose real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business." Fiction, also defined by Webster, is, "Something invented by the imagination or feigned; specifically: an invented story." Throughout The Jungle more fact is used than fiction. The Jungle is more effective as a muckraking novel than it is as fiction.The Jungle shows the disgusting conditions of the stockyards. It let the reader see that the revolting rotten meat was packaged and sold to consumers throughout the country but by regulation only the worst quality and most diseased was sold in Chicago. "'Devyled ...view middle of the document...

The working conditions were not the only hardship the immigrants had to endure. The Jungle shed a light on how the immigrants lived and were cheated by the American born people after leaving their jobs at the stockyards. Many were homeless. Most were dying a slow, painful, desperate, hungry death. The character in the novel, Jurgis, bought a house only to find out that there were hidden costs in his monthly payments, "He saw now how they had been plundered" (116). Many immigrants were swindled out of their homes and theft was common. Many did not attempt to own a home instead they lived in boarding houses where they were packed in until not one more could fit. Disease also took a major role in the immigrants' life. Due to malnutrition and such close living quarters it was nearly impossible to beat it. After Ona gave birth to her son she was never well again. She simply did not have the time or proper care to help her. Many women of this time experienced the same problems as Ona. Ona's story, although fiction, was not unique or untrue. It helped expose to the public the conditions of these immigrants lives and how they lived in heavyhearted poverty.Another topic presented in this novel was women. Women could not maintain their pride and morals and make a decent living. Many women felt they had to turn to prostitution for their children and for themselves. They felt that prostitution was the only way to survive, which at the time was true. Ona was forced to have sex with her...

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