Do you find Sinclair’s argument for socialism persuasive? Why or why not? How does Sinclair try to persuade the reading public to accept socialism? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The previous thoughts were well warranted.  I believe that Sinclair was fairly persuasive about bringing forth the idea that capitalism did need to be remedied or modified.  When one sees what workers like Jurgis endured and how life, as a whole, is devalued when profit becomes unchecked with regulating bodies not present, there is a persuasive call to some level of change.  In much the same way as Marx, maybe the case for Socialism is not as present as much as the case with what are the challenges in capitalism are.  I think the Sinclair in both this work and in "Oil!" was very compelling in bringing out the idea that there might be some need for modification in the capitalist structure.  I think that his case for socialism might not be as dominant as the one which articulates that capitalism can be prone to abuse and misrepresentation by those with means and ability.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Just as Teddy Roosevelt did not find Sinclair particularly persuasive from a socialist perspective in The Jungle, neither do I.  Sinclair's aim in this novel, as well as his novel Oil, (on which the movie "There Will Be Blood" was based) was to shock the audience with the horrors of the story of the meatpacking plants, or the abuses of the Standard Oil Company.  By shocking them, he hoped they would buy into his idea of abandoning capitalism altogether.  He wanted them to see it as a completely failed system, a system that was impossible to salvage.

What he did instead was to make me never want to eat another hamburger.  Seriously, though, his book was important in that it did lead to progressive reforms and awareness of capitalism's excesses, but it did little to make socialism immensely more popular in his time.

user8207429's profile pic

user8207429 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

brettd you are an idiot if you are a high school teacher than you should not have a teaching degree and you should have your license pulled. i am a high school student and i saw were he wanted socilism

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