111 pages 3 hours read

Upton Sinclair

The Jungle

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1905

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The Jungle

  • Genre: Fiction; journalistic; realistic
  • Originally Published: 1905
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 1170L; grades 9-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 31 chapters; approx. 250 pages; approx. 13 hours, 15 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: In this exposé of the Chicago meatpacking industry at the turn of the 20th century, immigrant Jurgis Rudkus and his family struggle to survive horrendous working conditions and grinding poverty. Rapacious capitalism and a lack of government oversight make their lives more difficult at every turn.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Extreme poverty; dangerous working conditions and injuries; abuse of animals; sexual abuse and harassment; drug and alcohol use

Upton Sinclair, Author

  • Bio: 1878-1968; born in Baltimore, Maryland; graduated from the College of the City of New York; supported himself during graduate studies by writing jokes and adventure stories for periodicals; advocated for causes including free speech and workers’ rights; wrote The Jungle as a serial after doing research as an undercover journalist; The Jungle inspired new regulations around food safety but not much concern for workers; his novel Oil! (1927) inspired the 2007 movie There Will Be Blood; ran for state and national office several times as a socialist; won Pulitzer Prize (1943) for his novel Dragon’s Teeth (1942)
  • Other Works: Manassas (1904); King Coal (1917); World’s End (1940); The Autobiography of Upton Sinclair (1962)