The Jungle

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Capitalism devalues workers' human qualities, and strenuous, repetitive jobs turn men and women into mindless beasts of burden. Throughout The Jungle, characters are reduced by their jobs and circumstances to animals who must fight… (read full symbol analysis)
Food symbolizes the fundamentally corruptive nature of capitalism. Ordinarily, food nurtures the body and unites the family, as it does during the traditional marriage festivities at the book's beginning. The food in Packingtown, however, is… (read full symbol analysis)
The squalor, hostility, and misery of Packingtown epitomizes the corruption, alienation, and poverty that Sinclair sees as consequences of runaway capitalism. (read full symbol analysis)