1. What elements in the plot have caused critics to accuse The Jungle of being too melodramatic to be classified as good literature?
2. "Muckraking" is a term applied to investigative journalism intent on effecting social change, often to the point of abandoning any pretext at objective reporting. Why have some critics called The Jungle a muckraking novel?
3. Does Sinclair consider Jurgis moral or immoral? In Sinclair's view is it sinful to become a thief or prostitute?
4. Most "naturalistic" fiction ends on a pessimistic note and suggests that man has little control over his environment. Is there any reason to think that Jurgis's life will improve?
5. Do any of the characters in The Jungle seem to be unique individuals, or are they all simply two-dimensional figures whose experiences serve only to convey Sinclair's political message?