Sinclair became a devotee of socialism in 1903 and considered The Jungle a forum for examining capitalism’s exploitation of working men and women. The narrative follows its protagonist, the Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkus, as he wrestles with a harsh environment where only the ruthless survive. The novel opens at Jurgis’s vesilija, or Lithuanian wedding feast-a ceremony expressing individual hope and the reaffirmation of traditional values. Jurgis struggles against external conditions native to the Chicago stockyard but representative of an entire society dedicated to the values of capitalism. Sinclair introduces a political alternative and effective antidote to capitalistic excesses by describing Jurgis’s eventual conversion to socialism. Although Sinclair was not completely satisfied with the mixture of rhetorical techniques he employed in The Jungle, his vivid descriptions of outrageous industrial practices quickly attracted public attention to the novel and stimulated social reform.