What is the significance of the title in The Jungle by Upton Sinclair?

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The title of Sinclair's novel is significant because it encapsulates his theme: that unfettered capitalism has created a "dog-eat-dog" world in which people prey on each other just as animals do in the real jungle. Some of the chief people preyed upon are the innocent and largely defenseless immigrants who arrive in Chicago hoping to build a better life through hard work.

In this work, they are largely cheated and exploited by those who mercilessly take advantage of their naiveté. Sinclair blames this on a system that sees people not as human beings but as widgets in a profit-making machine, to be used up for what money they can make for others and then cast on the trash pile.

Sinclair does not place the answer in becoming hard and savage to survive the system but in changing the system itself, advocating socialism as a more equitable system to protect the weak and vulnerable and to help them keep the profits of their hard work so that they can achieve the American Dream.

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In the book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, the title is truly a description of the world within the book.  The slaughterhouse is a terrible place to work and the actual descriptions in the book are real.  The way the animals are treated and the way the potential food is treated would be enough to make anyone ill.  The publication of the book lead to public outrage about the meat sold to people as food with the contamination the book described.  The jungle also referred to the conditions under which the workers labored.   Greedy owners really took no care or prevention of injuries to their employees as the employees were viewed as expendable because there was always another person looking for a job.  You could also extend the idea of the jungle to the world outside the meat industry which is what Sinclair intended.  He was hoping the book would highlight the shameful conditions under which most people worked.  The union movement was starting to help organize and give workers some rights, and this book was to help show the public what was happening to people without a  union to help them.

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