The Jungle takes place in the meat-packing plants, stockyards, and settlement houses of Chicago during the opening years of the 20th century. As much a work of journalism as of fiction, the novel grew out of Sinclair’s firsthand observations of life in the “Yards” and his interviews with workers, foremen, and politicians. Although Sinclair wanted his novel to focus on the merits of socialism, its impact stemmed from its raw depiction of the inhumane working conditions at the packing plants and the health hazards posed by filth in the slaughterhouses. The novel’s naturalistic setting thus proved far more important to its success than did its political content.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.